Swedish sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg have certainly brought in the big guns of folk to make sure that the follow-up to their well-received debut album, ‘The Big Black & Blue’, doesn’t go unnoticed. For ‘The Lion’s Roar’ Bright Eyes maestro Mike Mogis is at the controls and the folky, whimsical cuteness of their debut has been left behind in favour of a much grander sound. Boosted by a full backing band, most of the duo’s second offering is a dust-in-the-throat country record, in the manner of Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris, who the duo in fact pay tribute to on lead-off single ‘Emmylou’. It’s rollicking and freewheeling, with a couple of real standout moments in ‘Blue’ and ‘Dance To Another Tune’, and while not as distinctive as their debut, perhaps, the ambition that has gone into creating ‘The Lion’s Roar’ should be applauded.

By Tom Goodwyn

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