Janet Devlin - Running With Scissors

Review by Shannon Shumaker

There’s something for everyone in Janet Devlin’s new release, Running With Scissors. From folk and country to indie and pop, she has mastered this release, and the outcome is phenomenal. Devlin is bound to have you smiling within the first few notes of “Creature Of The Night” and her unique sound will keep you captivated all the way to the end of the album’s final track, “Whisky Lullabies.”

The first thing that really stands out about Running With Scissors is the warm and inviting tone of Devlin’s voice. On top of that, her amazing vocal range is perfectly showcased in her insane runs and by the time that the full band comes in on the first track, I want to get up and dance. “House Of Cards” is a perfect transition, as well. The second song is considerably more poppy than “Creature Of The Night,” but without sounding too sugar-coated. The balance between folk and pop in the first few songs on the album is flawless.

Track after track, Devlin delivers catchy poppy melodies laced with folky songwriting that are impossible not to fall in love with. The fourth song, “Lifeboat,” however, slows things down a little bit before the jaw dropping following track, “Things We Lost in the Fire.” Up until that middle point, the album is definitely more on the poppy side and (at times) almost a little too happy-go-lucky. While lyrically, some of the songs are on the serious side, they still have a very playful, happy feeling to them. “Things We Lost in the Fire,” however, is nearly heart-wrenching, making it one of the hardest hitting and most emotionally charged songs on Running With Scissors. “Things We Lost in the Fire” shows up just in time to prove Devlin’s versatility and provides a refreshing change to the sound on the album.

Immediately following “Things We Lost in the Fire,” Devlin throws us right into another upbeat track with “Wonderful,” with an infectious chorus that is sure to get stuck in your head. She slows things down a little bit again, though, with the next song, “Delicate.” While it doesn’t feel quite as emotional as “Things We Lost in the Fire,” “Delicate” is still a very beautiful folk track. And then, before you even have a chance to process the whirlwind of sound changes that Devlin throws at you, she’s diving into her unique cover of The Cure's “Friday I’m In Love.”

Arguably the best thing about Running With Scissors is the way that Janet Devlin has managed to mesh multiple sounds together. While the majority of the album is very poppy and upbeat, it’s not without its slower folky songs as well. Even the pop tracks on the album have a little bit of a folk or country feel to them, and that’s what makes the sound so unique. Janet Devlin has managed to create a sound that suits her voice perfectly with Running With Scissors, making this album an absolute must-listen.

Rating: 4/5

Listen to "Creatures Of The Night" or "Things We Lost in the Fire"