Dallas is a rock town. No place for a girl and her piano, really; I don't care how many Norah Joneses grew up here. Fortunately, Lauren Fine hasn't heard, or doesn't care, and she makes the kind of modest, lovely singer-songwriter music that the city sorely lacks. The 11 songs here are a little generic, but bolstered by the deft production of Todd and Toby Pipes (Deep Blue Something, Flickerstick), they achieve a sultriness and resonance her previous EP For the Breaking lacked. Opener "Conoco" is a fun girl-and-the-open-road ditty that lodged itself in my head all weekend. But "4702 Pinehurst Drive" is too earnest, a college girl's lament. "Good and evil, what's it for?/I couldn't tell you anymore." To her credit, Fine manages to pull off pop, soul and country throughout the album, and yet it leaves her without a distinctive sound, problematic for a genre in which every pretty girl with a sensitive streak starts to sound the same. But if nothing else, Paper Airports shows the beautiful flickers of a maturity and richness still to come.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Dallas, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.