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Sky Motel

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Kristin Hersh
May 2010

After founding her influential art-punk band Throwing Muses, at age 14, Kristin Hersh went on to spend the next 25 years confounding expectations and breaking rules - both her own and others’. From life as the reluctant front person for the Muses, to the solo career she swore never would happen, through the founding of an ambitious and altruistic ... Read more in Amazon's Kristin Hersh Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 20, 1999)
  • Original Release Date: July 20, 1999
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: 4ad / Ada
  • ASIN: B00000JCBL
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #220,962 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Echo
2. White Trash Moon
3. Fog
4. Costa Rica
5. A Cleaner Light
6. San Francisco
7. Cathedral Heat
8. Husk
9. Caffeine
10. Spring
11. Clay Feet
12. Faith
13. Outro

Editorial Reviews

Album Description

1999 solo album by the former leader of Throwing Muses. 12 tracks, including the single 'Echo'.


Kristin Hersh has been in a constant state of artistic evolution ever since the now-defunct Throwing Muses emerged in 1984. As a solo artist, she has displayed a uniquely unorthodox perspective by incorporating observations about parenthood, adult relationships, madness, and manifestations of life on the fringe. With Sky Motel, Hersh combines the introspective nature of her past solo work with the rocking insurgency of the Throwing Muses. Accompanied by Muses drummer David Narcizo, Robert Rust on keyboards, and guitarist Tom Gorman, she explores themes of faith, emotional ambivalence, and life in L.A. with poetic insight. The music here is powerful and Hersh's vocal stylings are both tough and emotionally vulnerable. Once again, Kristin Hersh reveals herself as a multifaceted songwriter with plenty to say. --Mitch Myers

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Susan on March 26, 2000
Format: Audio CD
It's a sad truth that Throwing Muses will probably never really reunite, and listening to "Sky Motel" serves to remind us of the majesty, creativity, and absolutely phantasmagoric mood of Kristin Hersh when she's standing in front of a band. Although "Sky Motel" sounds more like a Throwing Muses album than a Kristin Hersh album, it still has that undeniable quirkiness and eerie spook that is present in every chord Kristin plays, and every phrase she utters. "Sky Motel" experiments with different sounds, including the lounge-y "Echo," and even sports an actual radio-ready pop song in "A Cleaner Light." But more impressive are the grinding melodies of "Cathedral Heat," the nothing-short-of-brilliant lyrical play of "Costa Rica," and the kind of love song that only Kristin Hersh could write, "Spring." Kristin obviously misses her Muses, and it's no wonder: she is powerful and masterful when accompanied by a band, as "Sky Motel" gracefully proves. But she is more than capable of carrying the torch on her own, even when playing with a fuller sound than we hear on "Hips and Makers" or "Strange Angels," let alone the stripped-down "Murder, Misery, and Then Goodnight." Throwing Muses was always Kristin's vehicle, of course, and her solo work is only another side of a brilliantly tossed coin. "Sky Motel" is a daring combination of the best of her accoustic work and the most catchy of her Throwing Muses days. "Nothing like chrome when it shines." Indeed!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Culver TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 6, 2001
Format: Audio CD
SKY MOTEL, Kristin Hersh's third solo album, is the first to feature electric instruments. As a result, it brings the listener back to the fondly remembered days of her band Throwing Muses.
Hersh's songwriting on SKY MOTEL is as strong and idiosyncratic as ever, but the electric guitars and David Narcizo on drums give each track an added punch that make this her most accessible solo effort yet. The powerful "Echo" makes an excellent opening. "A Cleaner Light" is a rarity in pop music, a track that is both artistically viable and radio-friendly. "Cathedral Heat" is perhaps the album's highest peak, as Kristin sings "kissing in the middle of a terrible storm." The quiet "Faith" trails off to mark the end of this worthy album.
Forgetting about individual tracks and looking at the album as a whole, this disc takes time to grow on the listener, but it ultimately satisfies. Kristin Hersh's lyricism is certainly out of the ordinary, but once you get the core essence of the album, it all flows well.
For those who have yet to hear Kristin, I would recommend this over her two previous solo albums, HIPS AND MAKERS and STRANGE ANGELS, as the electric guitars of SKY MOTEL give it a wide range of appeal.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By giovanni on March 16, 2003
Format: Audio CD
... It's a direct revealing of her soul to the listener , one would say and indeed he would be right .
A complicated musician none the less , Hersh is no newcomer to the female rock scene . She is being fronting The Throwing Muses for years now and has already released five albums as a solo artist . Her records owe much of their charm to the power of her personallity . She is a woman who has " battled her own demons " and won , saw visions and illusions which caused her physical pain while writing many of her songs and all that long before all these female musicians started pretending to have 'mental disorders' just so they could sell some records . She is the real thing . She has always been honest with her public and she deserves credit for it . Never really did she seem to care about topping the charts or anything even remotely close to that . Much of her previous stuff is totally anticommercial , especially one of The Muses' latest releases , 1996's Limbo .
" Sky Motel " now is a record as enigmatic as they go . It contains a number of melodies locked into their own private universe ( " Costa Rica " , " San Francisco " ) . What is really difficult to understand is the mood the gifted singer is in while singing lyrics like " God bless the ugly / cheap champagne and blackjack on the bed / i was born in America / born with the fists of a saint ... " . Is she sad , cynical , dissapointed , happy or maybe all these together ? Ofcourse that doesn't mean that Hersh's virtues as a singer-songwritter aren't many because they really are and always present in each and everyone of her albums .
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 21, 1999
Format: Audio CD
It's not Throwing Muses, it's not Kristin acoustic, it's Kristin electric and without a band. Sky Motel is a departure from Kristin's past material, and she enters the next phase of her career using drum loops and playing all the instruments (except for drums). It's great to hear Kristin playing electric again and it seems like it's great for her to be playing her Fender again. As she sings in 'Echo', "I crave the very loudest sound...". While Sky Motel is different from anything else Kristin has done, it's still the same Kristin we know and love. Her songs are intense yet sweet, pretty yet rockin'. A song like 'Cathedral Heat' will draw you in, deeper and deeper, as it's intensity builds until you lose yourself within it. 'Echo', the first single, takes you on a joyous ride through transitions and stops and starts. The catchy 'A Cleaner Light' would make a worthy follow-up single. Overall this is a strong album that makes a nice place to start for a new listener or a great addition to a current fans collection.
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