Annabel - Each and Everyone (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Each and Everyone (2009)

Count Your Lucky Stars

When I reviewed Annabel's 2007 EP Now That We're Alive a while back, I noted that while music of this ilk wasn't exactly my favorite, there was enough potential bubbling just underneath the surface for me to be interested in hearing the band's future work. Now it's 2009 and the Ohio trio has dropped their first full-length, Each and Everyone, and it displays a nice, subtle progression in sound and songwriting quality from the EP that, while low on surprises and 'wow' moments, is a consistent and enjoyable listen.

There are three songs on Each and Everyone that first appeared on Now That We're Alive: "Castles in the Air," "Boquet Mines" and "Parade Rest." Other than the improved production, there aren't many discernable differences between these versions and those found on the EP, but they likely haven't been heard by a wide audience before now, so it's not a big deal.

The tunes exclusive to this record, however, are the real highlights. The first two tracks are "Sleeping Lions" and "People and Places," and they serve as great table-setters for the record's other nine songs with bouts of twinkling, intricate guitar work and incredibly impressive drumming courtesy of Andy Hendricks.

Annabel also utilizes huge, often choral-esque background vocals to great effect in songs like "As It Happened" and "You Started Thinking Again, Didn't You?", adding a grand feel to otherwise minimal compositions. Other assorted "whoa"s and "oh"s and "ah"s adorn the atmospheric "Widow Party" and the whimsical, jingle bell-laden "Adventures...".

As far as gripes go, there aren't many to be had for Each and Everyone. The songs do tend to run together a littile bit and sometimes fade into the background, but some would argue being good background music is a positive trait. Vocalist Ben Hendricks could be a lot more dynamic, but he's hardly a detriment to the band's sound and has improved, albeit incrementally, from the EP. I look forward to hearing how he and Annabel build on this on subsequent releases. They're not quite there yet, but there's no doubt that this band has a great record in their future.