As Yet Untitled

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Seattle Sound - CD reviews

Jolie Holland
Springtime Can Kill You (ANTI-)
From her first release, Jolie Holland knew her niche: appalachian field-recording meets bedroom-production, mournful ghosts finding new life in a sweet mess of multiple styles. Her songs swung this way and that, refusing to fall into one category, and she led it all with her bruised honey voice that often seeped into the cracks between folk, jazz, pop, and blues. Two albums later, little has changed. Songs drift out of the speakers seemingly crinkled with age, and then float away on airy melodies. Lyrics address dreams, moonshine, and the killing floor of spring. Recorded live to tape, Springtime is, in turns, lush, soft, and spontaneous, with melodic quirks hidden amid the dust. This is another impeccable record from Holland, an album not meant for many, but, perhaps meant for you. TYSON LYNN

Built to Spill

You in Reverse (Warner)
As the first Built to Spill album in five years, anticipation was high. Would it return to the sweetly innocent pop songs of their earlier albums, or expand on the jams that appear every so often? Turns out a little of both. Of the ten songs here, not one is shorter than four and a half minutes, and the longest, at eight minutes, actually kicks off the album. While the band seems to enjoy the exploration, many of the songs could stand judicious editing, trimming off the holding patterns that carry most of the length. The exceptions--The Wait, Gone, Liar--however, are easily worth the excess. Frontman Doug Martsch's fingerprints are everywhere to be seen, from the tightly wound, slowly unspooling guitar lines to the warmly inexplicable lyrics. There is much to love here, and there is nothing wrong with that. TYSON LYNN


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