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Safe Inside the Day

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 22, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

The third album from internationally traveled cult singer, songwriter and performer BABY DEE. Eleven deeply moving songs sharply produced with vivid images by MATT SWEENEY and BONNIE PRINCE BILLY, who also played on the album. Other performers include ANDREW W.K., ROBBIE LEE, MAX MOSTON, BILL BREEZE, JOHN CONTRERAS, JAMES LO, and LIZ KESSEL.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 22, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Drag City (Caroline)
  • ASIN: B000Y9NO5A
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #567,105 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Adarsh Amin on February 11, 2008
Format: Audio CD
A transgendered fifty-something, Baby Dee used to ride around Manhattan on a tricycle playing her classical harp and performed as a "bilateral hermaphrodite" on Coney Island.
On her third studio album, the transsexual, classically trained harpist, former church organist and performance artist from Ohio manages to banish, in 49 mesmerising minutes, the dread memory of all the witless, pointless, worthless CDs that clog the charts and make one long for, rather than fear, the oft-heralded and apparently imminent death of the album.
The CD is a unsurprisingly unconventional affair, running formal, medievally tunes for recorder and strings into camp cabaret and beery Tom Waitsian clatter-alongs.
It comes as a radical change in direction. Produced by Will Oldham and journeyman multi-instrumentalist Matt Sweeney (Zwan, Johnny Cash, El-P), it sees Baby Dee switching to piano and adding extroversion to her songcraft, backed by a string section and some illustrious musicians (including Andrew WK on bass and drums).
With help from Will Oldham, Baby Dee fashions an intricate, skittish and poignant distillation of incidents, setbacks and triumphs from her life story, setting lyrics of documentary, allegory and allusion to music that shifts promiscuously from Broadway musicals to classical, from sea shanty to Weimar cabaret, delivered in a voice that yelps, growls, coos and howls.
Dee's yawping voice lurches from tender to theatrical, cunning to confessional, as she advises that there are harps inside pianos, girls inside boys, and that teeth are the only bones that show.
The album looks back at the mythical landscape of early childhood through the filter of Baby Dee's subsequent experiences.
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I don't care about Baby Dee's sex or background. I really don't. I bought this CD on the basis of having been knocked over by one of the songs played on the radio. The CD hasn't disappointed me. Every song is a work of art. A song about bees? Yeah, and it's not soppy or stupid either. A song about death? Yep, and it doesn't have a single cliche in it. Baby Dee has a great way with a lyric and is a fine fine composer and musician as well. His/her voice is a little weird sometimes, but somehow that works too. It's the most interesting thing I've bought in the last couple of years, and I buy a LOT of CDs. Baby Dee is a songwriter on the same level as Tom Waits. And like Waits, isn't afraid to write a heartbreakingly beautiful ballad now and then.
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