thu 09/02/2023

Album: Twinnie - Hollywood Gypsy | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Twinnie - Hollywood Gypsy

Album: Twinnie - Hollywood Gypsy

An attempt at an upbeat lockdown review of an English country-pop debut

Yorkshire country fire in the booth

One thing with this whole lockdown business is that we’re all trying to be as nice as possible to each other. At the moment, we music writers aim to recommend material people can enjoy while stuck at home. Our knives are staying sheathed. What, then, are we supposed to do when confronted with Twinnie’s debut album?

The most positive thing that springs to mind is that the best of it sounds like Taylor Swift just before she went full pop. Which is hardly a glowing endorsement. I’ve one other nice-ish thing to say but will save that until the end of this review, then maybe you’ll forget the words in-between.

Twinnie-Lee Moore, who is originally from York, achieved profile with a regular role in Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks, but clearly her true passion is singing country music, and she has a strident voice that ticks all the boxes. This debut album, partly recorded in girl-pop-central Sweden, is gunning for the middle ground between Shania Twain line-dancers, the contemporary Top 10, and BBC Radio 2 middle-of-the-road, from the cheese of catchy single “Type of Girl” to the Celine Dion-ish slowie “Lie To Me”. It’s worth noting that super-producer Nathan Chapman, who has worked with both Swift and Twain, is on board for the ride.

There are a dozen songs and by the time you reach the twelfth, the relentless candified compression in the production cheese-grates sanguine temperament, the country-goes-X Factor voice has hatchetted the cochlea to chipwood, and the showbiz Nashville persona is performing to an empty theatre. What works for Dolly Parton is not a one-size-fits-all proposition, despite the sassy girls-on-the-town lyrics of “Better When I’m Drunk” and the like.

And so to that final compliment. The lyrics are good, chewy and entertaining. They muster the requisite persona Twinnie has developed with specificity and brashness, and draw suitably strong word portraits in the storied country and western tradition. So let us end there, on that upbeat note, and not even hand out the usual stars-out-of-five to indicate anything further to the casual observer of this review.

Not sure how long this method of arts reviewing is sustainable, mind…

Below: Watch the video for "Type of Girl" by Twinnie

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