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July 14, 2024

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Ripley Caine
R2 (self-released)

By: Mark Fisher

Ripley Caine?s "Lover" is probably one of my favorite indie albums of all time. That said, you can imagine my elation to receive Ripley?s latest offering for review. For those who have never heard Ripley Caine before, she is a singer/songwriter that is unique in the former and way above average in the latter. There is just something about her voice; it?s haunting, beautiful, and powerful all at once. On "R2" Ripley shifts musical directions a bit, which plays to the strengths of everything I love about her voice.

"Love What You Do" is an acoustic based alternative rock song, blending Portishead-ish vibes with a (albeit semi-buried) traditional singer/songwriter approach. "Fancy After That" is the EP?s centerpiece in my opinion. It has a funky alterna-singer songwriter feel to it that is unlike anything I have ever really heard. There?s a creepy sort of choir, some nice horn work, drum breaks, programming, and more. This song is a definitely an "everything but the kitchen sink" kind of thing but somehow through all the chaos a beautiful song is born. A lesser artist could not have interested me in this song, as I generally hate that sort of thing. "Her" steps it back a bit and relies more heavily on basic instrumentation (piano) and Ripley?s strong voice. "Ain?t That the Way" closes the EP with a heavy dance vibe that is one of the more surprising aspects of the EP. It works well though.

All in all I love this EP, despite the fact that it has few things in common with "Lover." Ripley has really come into her own as a unique artistic voice in an overcrowded indie music scene and I doubt that it will be long before the majors come knockin?. At least I hope so. Don?t miss out on this one.

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