Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Folk, World Music, Rock
Erin McKeown's third album is to be commended for its sense of adventure. There are 14 tracks on Grand and they encompass at least that number of musical styles, among them winsome indie-pop, gentle country-rock, lushly or... more »
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Erin McKeown's third album is to be commended for its sense of adventure. There are 14 tracks on Grand and they encompass at least that number of musical styles, among them winsome indie-pop, gentle country-rock, lushly orchestrated barrel-organ stompery and pretty electronica that verges on trip-hop. When trying to frame McKeown in terms of other artists, you end up with an equally impressively diverse peer group: Tanya Donelly, Rickie Lee Jones, Bjork, Liquorice and Shivaree (with whom McKeown shares a drummer, George Javori). An album this stylistically promiscuous needs a fairly imposing central personality to hold it all together, and McKeown just about manages on this score, as well. Her voice, while somewhat cutesy and cloying, never becomes overbearingly so--it's at its best on a lovely version of the Judy Garland standard "Lucky Day"--and she's an engaging narrator of her tales. There aren't enough songwriters to whom it would occur to write a song in the form of a letter from Igor Stravinsky, holed up in Hollywood in the 1940s while he waited in vain for Dylan Thomas to recover from tuberculosis so the pair could write an opera together. --Andrew Mueller
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Not just for cosmopolitans
lb136 | New York, NY USA | 10/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There's a tag in small type at the top of the cover of Erin McKeown's great new "Grand" CD--clearly one of the best efforts of the year--that reads "panoramic and spectacular!" That's not hype. This collection is all of that.Erin's vibrato-free expressive alto is capable of a variety of things, as she amply demonstrates here. There's not a false move anywhere. The highlights are the jazzy "Slung-lo," the trippy "Cosmolitans" (can this be labeled "jazz hop"? do we have to label it at all?), the noisy "Cinematic" and the dramatic "An Innocent Fiction." There's one cover--of the pop standard "Lucky Day"--which Erin slows down and does in a "high lonesome" style. It's meant as a tribute to Judy Garland, of whom Erin is clearly a fan.The whole CD, with its mix of styles old and new, is like a postmodern building with an Art Deco lobby. That conception probably wouldn't work well. "Grand," however, does."
It's Grand Central
ssspoonah | Hamilton, VA United States | 07/31/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wow! Having listened to Miss McKeown since she was 19 or so (go find a copy of her demo tape--even that's fantastic!) it floors me how she has evolved and honed her musical talents, through her three full-length albums and the Voices on the Verge project. Straight up, Grand is a tour de force. It is a standard, and will change the face of folk/rock music in as subtle and charming a way as only The Lady could do. I rarely put CDs on repeat, and Grand didn't leave my cd player for almost a week! Each song is such a stand-alone that the entire album comes across as a compilation of genres, tempos and even eras, rather than a single project by a single artist. Be it the swing style of "Taste of You", the rockin' beats of "Cinematic" or the classic Garland tune (with a slower tempo than the standard) of "Lucky Day" McKeown has a keen idea of what she can do and, more importantly, what she will do. Barely over 5' tall and just 25, McKeown shoulders more instruments, more genres and more musical understanding than just about anyone else out there, be they of similar age or not! How does so much talent fit into such a little person?
I am thrilled to be able to be an auditory spectator to the musical montage that is McKeown. If you are muddling over purchasing this album, think no more. Go get it. It will be, hands down, the best [$$] you will spend this year."
Cynthia S. Froning | Longmont, CO United States | 01/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In Grand, Mckeown blends 60s-era pop and folk with results that are charming and addictive. The quirky songs songs cover everything from the straightforward (bad relationships and career doubts) to the fantastical (a command dance performance), all in a bouncy, cheery beat. A blogger I read said that Mckeown is "playing the soundtrack to my life." I couldn't agree more."