The Children's Hour: Josephine (vocals, guitar, harp, piano, harmonium, uke); Andy (guitar, bass).
SOS JFK is the full-length debut from the Children's Hour, an effort rich in contemporary folk stylings and indie rock sensibility. Josephine Foster and Andy Bar are earnest in keeping things simple, basically picking up where their self-titled EP left off for a wistful set of melodies. Vocally and musically, the pair isn't overly ambitious. SOS JFK is appealing because its basic folk -- reflective, united, and warm -- and a move from the church to the studio captures such feeling. SOS JFK's instrumentation is polished with harps and pianos. Such a mix is sweeping and nearly matchless to Cat Power's quieter moments. Threads of Americana softly sway with Foster's lullaby-like vocals for the biographical "Adoption Day." This particular song was written for Bar's younger sister, who was adopted, and it's a delightful tribute. "Special King" and "Kindness of Strangers" are equal in poetics as jazz bits are sprinkled throughout these ballads. Foster's signature ukulele also adds a summery kind of freshness to the constant waves of acoustic guitars for an enjoyable listen. The Children's Hour, whose name is taken from a 19th century American poet, subtly suggest that they're on to something more than just music. SOS JFK rekindles a lost romance and holds on to an innocence that's quickly fading as new millennium pop/rock takes over. There's nothing na‹ve about it, either. ~ MacKenzie Wilson
Q (11/03, p.107) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...'The Lumberjack Song' moves with supple grace, and the centrepiece, 'Adoption Day' is desperately moving and unsettlingly quaint. Tiny cultdom awaits..."
Uncut (11/03, p.124) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...There are moments of airy, unhinged beauty worthy of Mary Margaret O'Hara..."