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March 29, 2023

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Jennie Arnau
Superman Won't Take the Call (self-release)

By: Scott D. Lewis

A New Yorker by way of South Carolina, Jennie Arnau is a talented singer-songwriter who vacillates between raucous county ditties and confessional folk tunes. She should likely do more of the former and less of the latter. Superman Won't Take the Call, Arnau's third album, is fairly evenly split between her two related tacks, but her upbeat material is miles ahead of the slower stuff. On the plus side are songs like the skipping, slightly salsa-y "Who I Might Have Been" which is a gripping slice of muscular country-rock that packs more twangy punch than all three of the Dixie Chicks. Arnau kicks up some more dust during the charming ditty, "The River" which sounds as if played from a plantation porch located in her home state. On the other side of the spectrum are more spacious and down-tempo tunes and sentimental ballads such as "One More Day," which can sound a bit dull and overwrought by comparison. In the middle are satisfying mixtures of these extremes, such as the alternately sedate and spunky "Tallulah Falls" and the tender-to-tough "Ain't No Friend." That Arnau has talent to spare is without question, now she just might want to decide in exactly what direction it should be channeled.
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