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September 7, 2004

{     Tanya Donelly - whiskey tango ghosts     }    

I've been listening to this album through a single raspy desktop speaker. It's been whispering to me: An AM-radio love-letter full of softness and subtlety, kinda sad and kinda happy, a little alt-country-inflected balladry and a whole lot of stripped-down acoustic pop. Easy listening indeed. I've had a bit of a modern-rock crush on Donelly's work since first hearing her with Throwing Muses, and later with The Breeders and Belly. This is her third solo release, a follow-up to 2002's overwrought yet still wonderful beautysleep. Almost minimalist by comparison, most of the tracks on whiskey tango ghosts feature a mixture of guitar and piano, and only occasionally a light drum-beat or some other rhythmic accompaniment. This gives the album a very direct and intimate feel- those used to wading through Donelly's densely layered ethereal obscurities should find a it a welcome relief. Whether this marks a significant career or style shift for Donelly remains to be seen. I can imagine that the live show in support of this album is an incredible experience- rewarding not only for fans who will be witness to Donelly's raw and naked vocal power in a way they never have before, but also for the artist, who (thanks to the brilliant directness of her recent songwriting) will be connecting with her audience in a way she has never quite experienced.

     » Read more, check tour dates and buy the album from 4AD

By Adam in Music


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