Album Review: Hurray For The Riff Raff
It’s not every artist that can hit all the right notes when covering an eclectic mix of musical genres, but singer/songwriter Alynda Lee Segarra from Hurray for the Riff Raff is far from ordinary, and that’s especially evident when you hear her amazing voice. Segarra is the principal writer behind this band and their latest album, Look Out Mama, still stays true to their southern-folk origins. Yet it also manages to touch on a wide range of musical styles like soul, psychedelic, Americana, country, rockabily swing, blues, and 60’s surf.
Segarra is a gifted songwriter with the singing chops to match. Her voice is comprised of a great measure of soulfulness and vulnerability, in a style that sounds quite original for a band that subtly adheres to traditional folk and country. In particular, the song “What’s Wrong With Me” is simply breathtaking and it sounds like a wonderful mix of soul and classic country-blues that one simply can’t imagine any other artist being able to pull off with such beauty. Andrija Tokic, the producer behind Alabama Shakes’ album Boys and Girls, helps this band shine on their latest release. And it must be said that this is their best work yet.
Check out the title track on the album here:
In describing the breadth of history covered by this album, an article over at No Depression has a wonderfully apt and vivid description that can’t be improved upon when describing this band’s music, so it bears repeating here: “It’s tremendously evocative of a time and place that doesn’t exist in any sort of reality, and instead is a potpourri of the sounds of the highways and byways of America, the sweat of the land, the births and deaths of generations.”
Buy Look Out Mama and just see if you can stop listening. This music and Segarra’s voice strikes at your very core. Her voice is that good. This band deserves far more attention than it currently receives. There is something also refreshing about a young singer like Segarra expressing such devotion and passion for her background in the New Orleans music scene and the South in general. On the song “Ramblin’ Girl“, she sings: “I’ve been out east, and I’ve been out west. But the southern states are the ones I love the best.”
And if you’re curious about how Hurray for the Riff Raff’s earlier sound compares to their newest release, check out “Young Blood Blues,” which you can listen to in full here:
It’s impossible to not be entranced by Segarra’s voice, and that’s especially true when hearing her in a setting stripped of extra accoutrement. Check out this acoustic rendering of the title song “Look Out Mama”: