Mary Lynn’s “Animal” Is a Great Listen End to End

Photo by Dylan Telerski  The Vinyl cover for Mary Lynn's "May Animal.

Photo by Dylan Telerski
The Vinyl cover for Mary Lynn’s “May Animal.

My Animal by Columbus, Ohio’s Mary Lynn is an upbeat pop-rock record, and though they aren’t doing anything revolutionary, they definitely aren’t doing anything bad either. It’s a fun record, and it’s easy to listen to all the way through. The musicianship is definitely all there, and frontwoman Mary Lynn Gloeckle has a big voice and manages not to oversell it.

The album’s opening song “Um” has an almost gospel quality to it but maintains a more pop sound than other songs on the album in which the guitars really open up and take over. It eases the listener into the record and teases the level of intensity the group is capable of.

“Two & Two” really allows Gloeckle to show off that big voice of hers, and it goes magnificently with her electric organ. The song really builds toward the end in a way that “Um” doesn’t and acts as a great lead-in to “Space,” which is clearly the record’s single.

“Space” has a great guitar lick to it and a catchy and memorable chorus. It is in fact the catchiest tune on an already easy-to-sing-along-to record, and it’s a strong single. It has a raw indie sound which reflects the group’s rock influences, but it also has a polished, radio-friendly quality that is just screaming for more attention.

Mary Lynn slows down the whole record on track four with “It’s Funny.” It’s just Gloeckle and her organ, and it’s about five decibels lower than the rest of the record. It’s a great transition and it acts as a contemplative interlude before “The Same,” which is also slower than the rest of the record but with much more sound (because it includes the whole band). “The Same” is the first tune that becomes sort of sad. A lot of the rest of the record maintains a fairly upbeat feeling, but “The Same” and the following tune “Funeral” have a morose quality to them.

Photo by Jeff Schaer-Moses Mary Lynn playing DIY venue Shea Stadium in Bushwick.

Photo by Jeff Schaer-Moses
Mary Lynn playing DIY venue Shea Stadium in Bushwick.

“Dreamin With You” brings it all back up with Gloeckle’s angelic voice taking over the simple tune and exuding a layer of softness that cannot be taught.

“The Break” and “Plans” both fall more into the genre of pop than rock ‘n’ roll, but honestly it would have been a complete waste of Mary Lynn’s magnificent voice to have buried it under loud guitars and drums. Both numbers are of the Sappy Love Song variety, but they really are quite nice. The electric organ adds a very pretty layer to the two tracks.

“Tough Skin” begins as if it’s going in the same musical direction as the previous two songs on the record, until it breaks down toward the middle and Gloeckle lets loose with some real belting over her band. The sounds of her musicians mix terrifically together and highlight her voice without overpowering it.

The album closes with “Animal” and once again puts the lead singer at the forefront — just voice and keys at its beginning — before going into a more progressive tone toward the bridge. It’s a beautiful close to a beautiful album.

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