A Beautiful View is a belated follow-up to this co-ed Chicago-based band’s 2004 debut, Song Of The Day Cafe, but retains that effort’s amiable folk rock approach. The Pralines’ chief songwriter, lead vocalist-rhythm guitarist Pamela Richardson, displays a knack for strong melodies as well as an inclination toward shading her lyrics with intrigue. Her ambitious approach, along with her band mates’ adept playing, enables The Pralines to add some welcome surprises to A Beautiful View.
“Il Commence À Pleuvoir,” featuring Eddie Torrez on accordion and Richardson singing what surely are heartfelt lyrics in French, is an authentic visit to a Parisian cabaret. The title track is augmented by Ric Salazar’s intricate guitar strumming while Danny McClain’s percussion gives “Shelter Cove” a nautical feel. “Escape Artist,” the tale of a woman helping her lover escape danger, is set to a catchy mid-tempo arrangemen, and the romantic “Brave Red Rose” mixes acoustic and electric guitars.
“Better Now” and “Tin Cup And Glamour” find The Pralines effectively rocking out, and a spirited cover of former Byrds member Gene Clark’s ringing “Silver Raven” serves as another highlight. The Pralines will be returning to International Pop Overthrow - Chicago again this year, with an afternoon gig at Red Line Tap on Saturday, April 27th.