The New Dress Where Our Failures Are

What makes Where Our Failures Are a great album can’t be found in the production. It can’t be found in the musicianship or vocal melodies either. No, what makes this record so good is its imperfections, which are worn proudly on the sleeve. It’s the uncertainty in the voices of Bill Manning and Laura Fidler, standing naked and raw — weary of judgment but unafraid of it — and Manning’s unsure guitar, played in spite of obvious training but with a clear knack for melody, that make this record so powerful. You could probably call this folk punk but what it comes down to is simply two voices and a guitar in the purest traditions of folk and rock’n’roll. Songs like "Thanks, Claire” exemplify the duo’s more personal, introspective side, while covers of Billy Bragg’s "I Don’t Need The Pressure, Ron” and Ed Pickford’s "Workers’ Song” show their political edge. Where Our Failures Are is a great demonstration of doing more with less. (Red Leader)