Aussie siblings Angus and Julia Stone land on U.S. shores with the mellow and sentimental LP A Book Like This. The effort features a lot of lush, warm and woodsy tracks that offer a pleasant respite from break beats and electric guitars. The duo guests on each other’s tracks (in one way or another), but both still manage to showcase themselves separately; their vocal styles complementary, yet miles apart.

Angus sings with the quiet reliability of greats like James Taylor, while Julia’s sound is highly reminiscent of Victoria Williams. Each is a capable musician, and their respective love of the music and various subject matter shines through. Songs like “Wasted” and “The Beast” are really nice listening material on lazy days or for when you really need to be talked down from the ledge.

Unfortunately, A Book Like This is a bit too “adult contemporary.” I get the same uneasy feeling about the album that overcame me when 10,000 Maniacs went from cool, fringe college band to VH1 darlings.

Angus and Julia Stone are one reasonably knowledgeable American radio disc jockey away from becoming the next Irene Cara or Ashford & Simpson. Maybe next record they should age it down a bit.



A Book Like This is currently available.