THE DEAL: Belfast, Ireland, transplant Jimmy Brown, formerly of the band Airspace, and Charlotte's Ashlee Brown, formerly of Flagship, team up for six-song folk-rock album under the name Matrimony.
THE GOOD: Both strong singers in their own right, the combination of their vocals can be aurally mesmerizing. Along with solid songwriting is the perfect production to allow the voices to shine and acoustic notes to come through clearly. Songs about falling in love perfectly match the couple's emotions. "Last Love" starts the song on an upbeat note with Ashlee singing, only to be followed by "Flee or Flight," an acoustic, finger-picking sonic blanket with the warm vocals of Jimmy Brown painting the picture until Ashlee joins him as the music picks up tempo. Jimmy's Irish influence comes through in the mandolin and organ of "More."
THE BAD: That the duo's Aug. 14 show at the Charlotte Irish Festival is their last for a while as they are moving to London. With any luck, they'll be back soon — rumor has it, October.
THE VERDICT: Both artists have enough talent to release something solid on their own, but the combination is over the top. I wish I heard music this good on major labels. It's kind of Charlotte's version of She & Him. One of the best albums I've heard this year.