Ponytail — Do Whatever You Want All the Time

Having a singular vision is difficult, especially when it’s so singular that listeners don’t get it.

Ponytail’s “Do Whatever You Want All The Time” follows its title a little too closely, featuring eccentric tunes that lost me.

While the dual guitar work here is impressive and occasionally interesting, it often takes a backseat to the yowling of lead singer Molly Siegel. She doesn’t sing melodies in the normal sense; she explodes with vocal emanations that fit into Ponytail’s complex, joyful tracks. Unfortunately, her “whoa” and “whaaa?” noises get so distracting that they nearly sink the whole ship.

The songwriting is solid, but it lacks the power of Fang Island, the intricacy of All Tiny Creatures and Delicate Steve’s innate sense of melody. The album has some very nice guitar work in it (“Easy Peasy,” “Tush”), but even the highlights don’t have the oomph necessary to get into the brain for long-term listening. Ponytail have been at this a while; they’re no amateurs. I just wasn’t enthused.

It is very clear that Ponytail is taking its title literally; this disc is cohesive, constructed with a particular idea in mind. I just don’t find that singular vision as interesting as other (wonder)visions similar to it. —Stephen Carradini