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The Deli Philly’s February Record of the Month: Tourist in This Town - Allison Crutchfield

The Deli Philly’s February Record of the Month: Tourist in This Town - Allison Crutchfield

Over the past decade, Allison Crutchfield - former member of bands like Swearin’ and P.S. Eliot - made a name for herself by crafting brutally candid anthems about love, loss, and nostalgia. With her latest release since 2014’s Lean Into Me, Crutchfield grapples with the present head-on.
Tourist in This Town opens with the warm and soulful start of “Broad Daylight,” a gospel-inspired declaration of love that quickly blooms into a synth-y and cinematic ballad about a romance on the brink of chaos. “I’m selfish, and I’m shallow, and unstable,” she confesses, before asking seconds later, “Was it mutual respect, or was it mutual frustration?” “Broad Daylight” says everything that earlier cuts like “No One Talks” couldn’t. Unafraid and shameless, it tells the truth without playing coy.
On “I Don’t Ever Want to Leave California,” Allison channels her inner Bethany Cosentino, coupling surf ready riffs and tambourine with admitted faults (“I keep confusing love and nostalgia”) and new desires (“I aspire to live in the present”).  The acoustic calm of “Charlie” evolves into an intimate portrait of infatuated yearning, an uplifting reminder that love and lust isn’t always turmoil, that sometimes it’s just sweet bliss. “Dean’s Room” brings to mind the percussive trill of New Order’s iconic single “Age of Consent,” and is equally dance-inducing. Lyrically and instrumentally frenetic, it’s pop-friendly tempo is seductive, but friendly. It’s the sort of song that could easily convince listeners to “dance with the devil in broad daylight.”
“Sightseeing” perfectly captures the feeling of being haunted by shattered relationships via ethereal chords and delicate reverb. When Allison sings, “I can’t enjoy Paris because I get away from you/like a ghost trapped inside my hotel room,” it’s nearly impossible not to relate. “Expatriate” is reminiscent of girl group all-stars like Lesley Gore and the Ronettes with the unabashed realness of the Shangri Las’s “Right Not Now and Not Later” and Shannon Shaw’s “Point of Being Right.” Spector-esque but without a shred of co-dependency, “Expatriate” is a celebration of those who love themselves as fiercely as they love their significant others. “Mile Away” is satisfyingly electric, filled with tempered drum beats and crashing cymbal, while the fast-paced brevity of “The Marriage” contrasts with the brooding but steady buzz of “Secret Lives and Deaths.”
Within the span of three tracks, Allison’s strengths shine bright, reminding fans that her sound is as diverse as her career has been. Tourist in This Town ends with the hissing snare and melodic riffs of “Chopsticks and Pots and Pans,” a heartfelt earworm bound to make you press replay again and again. In a way, Tourist in This Town is a milestone, in the literal sense. No longer preoccupied with the past, Allison Crutchfield is boldly embracing the present and looking forward to whatever is next. - Dianca London

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