The latest album by the Indigo Girls marks their Hollywood Records debut. But new label or not, Despite Our Differences finds the Girls’ now-familiar sound very much intact. Here, as always, the distinctive tastes and styles of Amy Ray and Emily Saliers provide perfect counterbalance for each other. On songs such as “Lay My Head Down,” Saliers’ folkier inclinations and sweet voice take center stage, while Ray’s grittier, more rock-oriented sensibilities take over on the rollicking “Rock and Roll Heaven’s Gate” (featuring a surprisingly successful collaboration with Pink) and the somber, measured, “Dirt and Dead Ends.”
This is the Indigo Girls at their best. Even though there is nothing particularly groundbreaking musically in these thirteen songs, they deliver solid melodies and display ample evidence of one of Saliers and Ray’s greatest strengths—conviction. These songs are not only enjoyable, but they speak with equally unflinching frankness about personal relationships (“Last Tears”) and political reform (“Pendulum Swinger”). If you didn’t like the Indigo Girls before, this album probably won’t change your mind, but for those who did, here are thirteen more reasons to help remind you why.