The Ditty Bops, The Color Album (Ditty Bops Music, 2010)

The Los Angeles wife-and-wife duo of Amanda Barrett (vocals and guitar) and Abby DeWald (vocals and mandolin), collectively known as The Ditty Bops, were one of my favorite musical acts from the preceding decade. They have three full-length albums under their belts, but they've also released three EPs on their own label. The most recent of these, The Color Album, is a quick, 17-minute collection of eight short songs associated in some way with the colors of the rainbow (plus a bonus color, pink).

The songs on The Color Album have sparse arrangements, featuring mostly Barrett's guitar and maybe one or two other instruments. Even the harmonies are scaled back, as Barrett and DeWald emphasize their solo vocals here. But if The Color Album is a bit lighter than a typical Ditty Bops recording, it still shows off the same catchy charm their fans have come to expect. There are a couple of gems here as well, especially "Evergreen," a song about a female faerie spirit who comes around every January to bring discarded Christmas trees back to life. The last two songs, "Seventh Ray" (about colors beyond violet) and "Pink City" (a celebration of the color pink that the American Cancer Society should strongly consider adopting), are a lot of fun as well.

The Color Album may not quite match the very high standard that The Ditty Bops have set with their full-length offerings, but it's a fun little diversion. It's available for download at a very generous price, and fans of the band will definitely find it worth their while.

Overall grade: B+

reviewed by Scott

A live performance of "Under the Orange Sun"

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