The cliffs notes review of the debut album from Erika Wennerstrom, Sweet Unknown, is that it is fine.  I try and typically stay away from calling an album fine, or any words synonymous with that, because I think it underplays the work the artist put into the record.  However, I struggle to find any other way to describe what Wennerstrom has done. It’s a good road trip album, engaging enough to keep the driver awake but enough in the background that you don’t mind talking over it.  Nothing on the album is bad, Wennerstrom’s voice is incredibly suited to the sprawling and sparse instrumentation. However, it lacks staying power; no song really sticks out causing it’s near hour long run time to all blend together.  While there are some tracks that attempt to break the monogamy, such as the more driving guitar of “Letting Go,” or the surprisingly beautiful “Extraordinary Love,” these are few and far between. Many of the songs would benefit greatly by a time reduction of a minute or two, especially “Good To Be Alone,” whose gradual build up and crescendo does little to warrant it being over ten minutes long.  Overall the album is agreeable, and many people might even find it pleasant. Hopefully in the future she is able to tap into a more unique sound of her own, because she definitely has the talent to make great music.

-Mason Cardwell