Evangeline – Big Choice
Evangeline’s sophomore outing is drenched in Americana romanticism, covering plenty of classic country-folk territory. Big Choice opens with “Little World”, a song of wanderlust that nods to early-’70s Jackson Browne. The fleeing-hometown theme is a well-traveled one, but vocalist Jennifer Potter’s soprano is crystal enough to steer it away from cliche.
When guitarist/songwriter Chris Cline takes over singing on four of the album’s ten tracks, he may be straining for a self-assured Gram Parsons, but he sounds more like a young Jeff Tweedy in phrasing and vocal inflection. The irony in Cline’s voice on “Still Got You” evokes an uncanny similarity to Tweedy’s reserved vocals from the early Uncle Tupelo days.
Other tracks on Big Choice cover familiar ground: heartbreak on “Killing Her Again”, a lonesome holiday on “2000 And Raining”, southern idealism on “Tupelo”. There’s even a rotten-toothed hillbilly murder number, “The Ballad Of Milo Paul”. Some may consider these to be stereotypes, but it’s likely just the band’s blatant respect for country music that is on display.