(Mandolin Orange Music)
Haste Make/Hard Hearted Stranger counts as the second album from Mandolin Orange. Andrew Marlin and Emily Franz, North Carolina natives, comprise Mandolin Orange. Their first CD, Quiet Little Room showcased their undeniable chemistry.
In the old days, Haste/Make/Hard Hearted Stranger would've been called a double album. In this case, each album was recorded at separate studios. For the most part, Haste Make is a quiet acoustic affair. It's a collection of songs best heard on a Sunday morning or twilight.
Between Marlin and Franz, they play guitar, mandolin, bass, organ and viola. Their vocal harmonies retain a rare effect. The compositions that stand out on Haste Make include the title track, "Lines On the Floor", "Not A Word", "Ships Sail Away" and the gem "Angel".
"Big Men In the Sky" opens Hard Hearted Stranger with a back country road spirit. "Clover Tune" emits a dreamy landscape...like hearing a distant train. "Killer", a haunting number, showcases the golden voice of Emily Franz. "Hard Hearted Stranger" resonates the heart-rending intention of Mandolin Orange.
"Next To Nothing" evokes generations of music being played in the Appalachian mountains. Marlin's storytelling tune "Train Song" really keeps the rain out--a soundproof number on all levels. The melancholy of "Darling Girl" proves memorable. Hard Hearted Stranger closes with a reflective composition titled "Birds of A Feather".
Haste Make/Hard Hearted Stranger, by all accounts, verifies Mandolin Orange's future is bright as the sun...