Although no uniform theme exists across both halves of the album, a few style consistencies give listeners a taste of the artists’ personalities.
Variety, rather than a cohesive subject or musical style, is the theme of Avocado Sessions: This Side & The Other by Charlotte-based Gigi Dover & The Big Love. The Americana ensemble’s third album contains 12 tracks, split into two sonically separate sides.
Since 2004, Dover has toured the region with her songwriter husband, Eric Lovell, on lead guitar and David Clark on bass. For Avocado Sessions, Jason Atkins on keys, John Spurrier on drums, and Andrew Marcadis on percussion round out the original trio. Lovell’s musicianship on a collection of instruments, including the tambura, ukelele, mandolin, and glockenspiel, helps the group slide between genres from track to track.
The album’s first half, “This Side,” includes country-tinged Americana rock with Dover’s soulful voice and abundant background vocals. “Poppies” is an upbeat, catchy guitar lick, while the pedal steel-soaked “Preacherman” leans more toward Reba McEntire-style country. “The Other” is adventurous in comparison. The side’s first track, “Paris,” loosens the Americana genre restraint with hints of swing. The dark subject of “Lobster Trap,” with spooky background vocals, is the essential Southern murder ballad. “A Better Place” takes listeners across the world with Lovell’s sitar joining Dover’s acoustic guitar.
(Story continues below the video and audio clips.)
Although no uniform theme exists across both halves of the album, a few style consistencies give listeners a taste of the artists’ personalities. Dover holds back on her powerful vocals for the sake of mystery when appropriate, but she isn’t afraid to let go, either. She also lends her artistic talent to the album cover: a colorful butterfly that suggests the style and adventure this collection provides.
Gigi Dover and Eric Lovell, Producers. 2010, 12 tracks, $9.99.