Ida Lovers Prayers

Ida Lovers Prayers
How lovely it is to have this husband and wife duo back after three years. Daniel Littleton and Elizabeth Mitchell keep sharpening their songs and while their last album, Heart Like a River, was good, these new songs have been whittled down to the bare essentials, but those essentials still easily shine. The problem though is that while these songs are quite beautiful and meticulously crafted, they all float in the air rather than take off. Littleton and Mitchell have beautiful voices and they sing together in a heartbreaking Johnny-and-June way, but they never break out of their loping indie folk ways. "See the Stars” has some welcome electric guitar strums and "Worried Mind Blues” does indeed have a great, hesitant swagger, but we need more songs like "The Love Below.” At the halfway point of this gorgeous, gossamer spotlight on Mitchell’s deceptively brittle voice, it sounds like electronic manipulation, but it’s just some breathtaking stop-start vocal harmonies between the two that elevate the song to another level. While Lovers Prayers is charming and beguiling, it never moves beyond sounding very, very pretty. (Polyvinyl)