Ruby Rendrag has definitely learned a lot from Chrissie Hynde, and it’s a good thing. She handles most of her own guitar work on this album (with a little harmonica thrown in) and sings her smart, accessible, lively adult pop songs like a grownup.
As a guitar player, Rendrag moves freely from electric (“Not Today”) to acoustic with a solid sense of rhythm and taste, as the break on “W26” shows (word has it New Orleans musicians even dubbed a style of playing after her). As a writer, she has depth and maturity, and, with a voice coincidentally similar to Hynde’s, sings in a naturally soulful way almost to be expected from a native of the New Orleans suburb of Kenner – doubtless the source of the hint of funkiness she can’t help but inject. The only non-original is beautiful cover of Radiohead’s “High And Dry” – the irony of it being recorded by a flood survivor (several tracks for her first album fell victim to Hurricane Katrina) is not lost, and fits with the rest of a superior disc.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Dec. ’08 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.