Sweet Alibi – “Walking in the Dark” 3.5/5

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Photo provided by Sound Strategy Music.

Traditionally in music, the third album is often a make-or-break situation for an artist or band’s career. This knowledge is not lost on the members of Sweet Alibi who, by teaming up with Juno award-winning producer Murray Pulver, may have perfected their sound on their newest release and third album, Walking in the Dark.

It’s songwriting 101: short and catchy, well-produced, everything but unconventional, with enough little details to keep you interested. Walking in the Dark is easily accessible, and produced for mass consumption.

The appeal of Sweet Alibi’s sound hinges on their ability to mix elements of folk, roots, and country, then present it in the context of a tightly-structured pop song.

One of the most interesting features of the album is how the sound of each song is dictated by who is singing.

Tracks featuring Jess Rae Ayre have more groove. The song “Bodacious,” for example, has a vibe similar to something from Arcade Fire’s Reflektor album, while the song “My Love” lays down a rhythm oddly reminiscent of k-os’ 2006 hit “Sunday Morning.” These songs, along with the Fleetwood Mac-esque opening track “Keep Showing You” lay the foundation for Ayre’s sultry vocal style.

Amber Quesnel’s vocals are more traditional and pure. The way she sings on “Not A Fight” is honey to the soul, and her vocals work well with Walking in the Dark’s more pop-oriented tracks such as “Moving To The Country,” which is a songwriting marvel. It’s pure T-Swift-meets-the Supremes. Eventually it gets stuck in your head.

This album is Sweet Alibi showing their prowess as songwriters who are able to create a sound well-worthy of radio play.