Review by: Eric Pember
Album assigned by: Jonathan Hopkins
I’m sorry, but I don’t really know how to handle this one. I think it sounds nice, and better than a lot of other alt-country I’ve heard (let’s not even get started on mainstream country), but I can’t exactly detail why I think that at this time. Part of me thinks that there’s a subliminal effect from really liking Neko Case’s contributions to the New Pornographers, but I also like what I’ve heard from Calexico (who apparently play on this album), so that’s likely not it.
Trying to compare this to another alt-countryish artist I like (Woven Hand) perhaps provides a hint at why I like this. Like Woven Hand, it tries for a distinct atmosphere, unlike seemingly a lot of country music, both mainstream and alternative. Also like Woven Hand, it is a bit samey-sounding, but ultimately most songs in every genre are samey-sounding if you don’t have much of an aptitude for it.
I’ll get back to this album at some point (along with the subsequent ones from her and albums from Calexico) and see if I can figure out why I like this where most alt-country music kinda doesn’t work for me.