Jun 25, 2021
By Mark Moody
If the first song you heard from Faye Webster’s follow-up to the breakthrough of 2019’s Atlanta Millionaire’s Club was the crunchy synth-driven rocker, “Cheers,” you could easily draw the conclusion that she had gone off in a brave new direction. That’s true as far as “Cheers” is concerned, but primarily I Know I’m Funny haha mines a similar vein to its predecessor. And with the continued sharpness of Webster’s offbeat observations and a languid countrypolitan sound that continues to coalesce, that’s a mighty fine approach to take.
If there’s a jumping off point from Atlanta Millionaire’s Club, you can build a bridge from the sure footed confidence of that album’s “Pigeon.” One of that album’s shortest songs, I Know I’m Funny haha also delivers its most potent moments in its briefest passages. The title track and the downbeat “Both All the Time” explore addicting riffs and contain some of Webster’s pithiest couplets. On the latter, Webster opines that “there’s a difference between lonely and lonesome,” but no matter as she is both all the time. These ear-catching phrases are followed by a decelerating bass scale and a perfectly placed tap of a cymbal before delving into Webster’s next revelation. That the song pulls up with an anticipatory “ding” and leaves the listener hanging just cements its low key brilliance. While the slowly pulsed chug of the title track provides a foundation for Webster to weave an everyday story you wish would never end.
There are a few less essential moments like the overly lengthy groove of “Kind Of” and the seemingly tossed off tribute to the Atlanta Brave’s Ronald Acuña, Jr., “A Dream with a Baseball Player.” But even then Webster and her band lock into plush arrangements that set a mood. The latter song bleeds into a lovely spaced-out duet, “Overslept,” with Japan’s mei ehara. And the album closes out with the beautifully gentle “Half of Me.” Webster accompanies herself alone on guitar and puts the ironic aside for a heart-rending moment.
Webster’s decision to not stray too far from the magic of Atlanta Millionaire’s Club was a good move. There’s no one else quite like her out in the landscape and playing to that strength makes perfect sense. If anything, from its opening notes I Know I’m Funny haha puts Webster’s skills on fuller display. The grooves get groovier, the jams jammier, the tears saltier and, as advertised, the jokes are funnier than ever before. (www.fayewebster.com)
Author rating: 7.5/10
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