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Knock On The Sky (Lyric Street)

In the three years since SHeDAISY's platinum debut, THE WHOLE SHeBANG, they've offered up a Christmas album and a collection of remixes, but kept us waiting for a full-on, all-new follow-up. What have they been doing all this time?

By the sound of it, they've been hard at work carefully sculpting this sonically sophisticated, elaborately detailed suite of smart, catchy tunes. Knock On The Sky is a confident step forward in sound, songs and sensibility.

Little audio surprises lurk in every corner of this Sky, from the occasional spoken-word snippets to the atmospheric AM-radio crackle in the bridge of "I'm Lit." And that devotion to tickling your eardrums extends to the music itself, as the Osborn sisters' harmonies skillfully play off one another while mandolins and banjos brush up against sitars and drum machines.

But it's the tunes themselves that carry Knock On The Sky, as songwriting sister Kristyn Osborn has come up with a batch of catchy melodies and intelligent lyrics. Sky's 14 songs (counting the Sheryl Crow-ish hidden title track) lean toward the melancholy, with tales of soured romance dominating the proceedings (including the current hit, "Mine All Mine"), and intriguing religious imagery coloring several tracks ("Repent," "Rush," "Keep Me").

Hopefully, it won't be another three years until we hear SHeDAISY's third album. But if it's constructed with the kind of thoughtfulness and craft heard on Knock On The Sky, it, too, will be worth the wait.

-- Chris Neal

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