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Sky Motel

23 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 20, 1999
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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

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  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

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: #297,536 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 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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6 of 6 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 21, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Fans of Kristin Hersh's former band Throwing Muses have been waiting for "the godmother of alternative rock" to step forth and produce another full band album for quite some time. Hersh's earlier works "Hips and Makers" and "Strange Angels" were entirely acoustic, and her mail order only release "Murder, Misery, And Then Goodnight", a compilation of Appalachian folk songs, seemed to further cement the notion that Hersh's electric days were over. With "Sky Motel", Hersh has answered that notion with an emphatic no. "Sky Motel", while not as raw and driving as previous Muses releases, introduces a new facet of Hersh's rich talent. The raw emotion of previous cuts now coexists with a new maturity and polish previously unseen. "Echo", the first track and first single, blends the familiar Hersh lyrics "...I crave a midnight something, I crave and something hunts me down..." with a new sound that seems more mature, yet just as enticing as the Muses' guitar driven music. "Cathedral Heat" stands out as a classic Kristin Hersh song, the kind of song that entices you at the first hearing, drawing you in bit by bit, then shocks you with its intricacies and brilliance. This is not just another pop or "alternative" songwriter, this is clearly a woman who must be recognized as an original artist. "A Cleaner Light" is definitely the most accessible of tracks, following where "Bright Yellow Gun" left off on the Muses' "University" album.Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 24, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Basically, this is Kristin Hersh's "Skylarking." It is music rich and interconnected with autobiographical moments depicting her life moving into and living in the desert, and ultimately leaving. Like XTC's "Skylarking," it demands continuous and seamless listening, the entire work framed with the gentle sounds of crickets in the cool desert night. Kristin acts as Colin Moulding to her own Andy Partidge, balancing her moods with songs both uptempo and gently distilling, all lined with her wit and vocal tension. Apparently this is the first album that she's had to sit down and write. Usually, the music would just come to her, sometimes in assaulting fashion, other times as a blooming flower. With the first track, "Echo," it's obvious that this music had to be created and crafted, and one wonders if the entire album is going to proceed in a predictable manner. The second track, "White Trash Moon," propells us into the surreal realm that is the desert, replete with oddities both environmental and human. From that moment on, the slick context of "Echo" is redefined as a comment on her own slick entry into this new world, only to be deflated by the blanketing reality of "White Trash Moon." And following those juxtaposed songs, anything goes. Like "Skylarking," listening to this album made me want to turn out all the lights, or, even better, take it out to a field where I can lay out, the bugs and blades of grass prickling at my ears and neck, and just stare into vast, wondrous sky for 46 dreamy and emotional minutes. Thank you Kristin, and congratulations.
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