Review Summary: “No big deal mate, she’ll be right.”
For an album birthed out of necessity, She'll Be Right is remarkably organic. Supposedly written and recorded for the primary purpose of funding Matt and Kristie MacDonald's newly born baby's delivery and diapers, Vocal Few's EP could feel manufactured or formulaic, to be marketed only towards Matt's main band The Classic Crime
's hardcore fans, but thankfully this is not the case. Matt's collaboration with his wife manages to be charming without being overly cutesy and creative enough to sufficiently break away from The Classic Crime's own softer, folksy material and providing more than enough to catch the attention of new listeners as well.
Mr. MacDonald smartly retains the main songwriting and vocal duties, although Kristie is given sufficient time in the spotlight. The couple's constant duet nature is readily apparent on all four tracks, with Matt on the guitar and Kristie on keys. In fact with no pretense it would still be quite apparent that the couple is married, with many of the songs lyrically dealing with the reality of a familial relationship. Kristie’s first vocal appearance comes in the first song with the heartwarming, “Through all the wreckage and the messes we’ve been through / I’ve been your navigator, calmly guiding, sitting next to you / so don’t you take all of the credit or the blame / we still have plenty more mistakes to make I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
Much of the EP is written in such a loyal, slightly syrupy tone. Her voice, while clearly outshone by Matt’s, is strong and ensures that she will not be labeled as simply a wife that wanted to be in her husband’s music. Perhaps the greatest success of the EP is that it manages to stand on its own compared to The Classic Crimes own acoustic-based material, taking on a life of its own distinctly different from Crime’s Seattle Sessions. While many of Matt’s vocal melodies remain distinctly Classic Crime-esque, Kristie’s presence refreshes his style into that more of a singer/songwriter.
While it’s doubtful we will ever see anything more from Vocal Few (unless they have another baby perhaps), She’ll Be Right is a success in its execution by playing things appropriately safe most of the time while still finding the opportune moments to flourish. Ironically, the short-lived project is remarkably farsighted in its demeanor and lyricism. I suppose that comes with the task of preparing to raise a child.