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Sunny Border Blue
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Hersh,Kristin ~ Sunny Border Blue
Kristin Hersh's Sunny Border Blue exists in a snowed-in, two-room cabin, and she's stuck feeding the potbellied stove, hoping the chimney doesn't back up, braced always against the other. That other sometimes forms a lover, sometimes a friend, or a child, a confidante, or a betrayer--the figure's face shifts even as the singer flips from seeping anxious jealousy ("Spain") to railing ("37 Hours"). Hersh plays all instruments except on "Trouble," a Cat Stevens cover that fits the smooth sonic landscape but stands out from her own songs in sticking to one emotional sensibility. Short on the noise and vocal histrionics of her earlier work, Sunny Border Blue bends the ear and, by extension, the listener's nervous system. --Andrew Hamlin
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her guitar parts are so unique, it is amazing.
I have been buying her albums, one at a time, for a few months now, and
am never disappointed!
True-blue believers will need to have it, but anyone unfamiliar with KH's genius should start somewhere--anywhere at all--else. As for me, my fervent prayer for the next album is that she'll stop puttering along like some myopic granny in the slow lane, and howl, howl, howl like she used to howl in the good ol' out-of-control days.
The songs (and again she plays all the instruments) are delivered in the same deadpan steely alto that she has perfected since her "Throwing Muses" Days. And she remains The Maestra of the Minor Key (if there's a major chord anywhere on the CD I didn't hear it). As usual, the CD are cramed with her highly personal,jagged, strange lyrics that sometimes rhyme in the oddest places. And she's still smarter than you.
In the opening, "Your Dirty Answer," she opines: "i don't judge people, i just watch them 'til it's time to look away. i want to look away now." In "Spain" she notes, "the engine is idling and the car seems to be expanding," and in the next cut, "37 hours" she sighs that "we could be a silkworm tightrope but we're not." (Do all the people she's known, past and present, eventually turn up in her lyrics? Quite possibly.)
This time out Kristin tosses in a cover, of an old Cat Stevens cut, "Trouble," and she manages to make it her own.
In "Ruby" (and maybe this is the best cut) she ponders: "it's easy to sleep with idiots and prophets. leaves me wondering. ruby or iridescent cough drop?" Ruby.
And in the last cut (there are 13) she takes one last swipe at her former "Throwing Muses" colleagues (who she outgrew long ago) "how'd i trust a band who'd leave me one by one?" Their loss. Our gain.
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