Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Johanna Newsom - Ys


Joanna Newsome, "Emily" (sendspace link)

I'm not gonna lie, I slept on Joanna Newsom's first album. I heard a bit of it, never thought I would give another listen ever again, too grating. It was a strange reaction for me, as I tend to search out musicians who polarize audiences into love 'em or hate 'em camps. I can't even recall why I gave up on it so easy, although I recall hating her voice. That's right, the man who writes essays on Bob Dylan's voice. I must have been depressed or something.

Her latest work, Ys, seems to take her the next level, out of the curiousity cabinet into the one for fine china. The strings were composed by the legendary Van Dyke Parks, recorded by Steve Albini, engineered by Jim O'Rourke and Pitchfork gave it a 9.4. It's all pretty stunning for an album that doesn't have one song clocking in below 9 minutes. Above is the epic 13 minute opener, "Emily," which gives a great intro to her music and lyrics. This is not for the short-attention spanned, nor those looking to get buck. It's dense music, well, dense lyrically, as she seems to write a full chapter for each song. There is little space outside of this world of hers, which isn't bad, it's just very different. There is no hooks or refrains or any trappings of the pop world. Her voice sounds much better to me on this record, much less childish, much more unique. If you can get into Bjork, I think you'll be able to get used to her.

Defintely recommended, you won't hear anything else that sounds like this right now. Go here and buy your copy; go to her Drag City site for tour dates.

-Baile Crunk at Plan B in the East Village with special guest Nick "Catchdubs"

-Check Yo' Ponytail at Safari Sam's with Guns 'n Bombs, The Grey Kid and Le Disko's Daniel

-Great article on Sasha Baron Cohen in the latest Rolling Stone, speaking as himself not Borat - especially love the fact that he was raised in a kosher house

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