On her second solo album, Amy Ray pulls no punches. As she sings in "Rural Faggot," "I know you want to know the truth, and I'm the dyke who will give it to you." It's an anthem worthy of Bruce Springsteen (one of the many... more » here) within a song cycle that revisits high school rites of passage in the South while coming to terms with sexual confusion, desire, and identity. For all of Prom's ambitious thematic sweep, much of the material combines a punk-rock urgency with the melodic catchiness of new wave, with little of the folkie earnestness that flavors Ray's collaboration as half of the Indigo Girls. There's a musical progression over the course of 10 songs, with the opening "Put It Out for Good" and "Driver Education" seeming to channel the hard-riffing energy of Ray's high school days, as if the music were the soundtrack of her adolescence, while the reflective maturity of the acoustic "Rodeo" and the rousing affirmation of "Let It Ring" that close the album suggest her graduation into an Indigo Girl. --Don McLeese« less
On her second solo album, Amy Ray pulls no punches. As she sings in "Rural Faggot," "I know you want to know the truth, and I'm the dyke who will give it to you." It's an anthem worthy of Bruce Springsteen (one of the many here) within a song cycle that revisits high school rites of passage in the South while coming to terms with sexual confusion, desire, and identity. For all of Prom's ambitious thematic sweep, much of the material combines a punk-rock urgency with the melodic catchiness of new wave, with little of the folkie earnestness that flavors Ray's collaboration as half of the Indigo Girls. There's a musical progression over the course of 10 songs, with the opening "Put It Out for Good" and "Driver Education" seeming to channel the hard-riffing energy of Ray's high school days, as if the music were the soundtrack of her adolescence, while the reflective maturity of the acoustic "Rodeo" and the rousing affirmation of "Let It Ring" that close the album suggest her graduation into an Indigo Girl. --Don McLeese
"I am always amazed at Amy Ray's ability to tie social awareness into all of her songs yet make it in a way that's fun and keeps us hanging on for more, and PROM is her greatest accomplishment to date. With catchy tunes like "Driver Education," and emotionally charged songs such as "March," and "Rural Faggot," I cannot stop listening to it! I have read reviews for this album, and I expect that the excellent reviews will keep pouring in! Amy tackles a lot of issues that she and most of us have experienced in high school and throughout different stages of our lives, such as our sexuality, discrimination, love, addiction etc... One of my personal favorite songs on this record is "March." This song gave me chills the first time I heard it with Amy playing the mandolin as if her life depended on it and with lyrics such as, "Let it ring to Jesus, coz I know he loves me to, I get down on my knees and I pray the same as you, Let it Ring." Amy's message to the radical Christian right is not one of meanness or hatred but rather a message that tells them, you don't own Jesus, you cannot control who he loves, he loves everybody, the same way he tells us to "love our neighbors." "Rural Faggot," tackles homophobia in rural areas against gay men in particular, yet another amazing song that pulls at your heart strings. Amy never fails to get her points across in her songs, yet it's in a way that you don't feel "preached at," instead you feel empowered and inspired to get involved with issues that are near and dear to your heart, even if it's just discussing different issues with your friends and families. However I do not want to scare off the light-hearted listeners who may not be interested in the political realm, because it's a great CD to listen to regardless of your belief systems. The bottom line is, if you want a great CD, which differs from the generic studio created, "boy bands," and the latest "pop stars," then buy PROM, you will not regret it. If you liked "Stag," you will LOVE "PROM!""
Lee Armstrong | Winterville, NC United States | 05/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Prom" is a delightful solo disc. Amy Ray rocks relentlessly. The greatest pearls come at the end of the disc with 4 excellent tracks. On "Sober Girl" Amy & Donna Dresch have a two-woman duel with electric guitars that is a sonic shock. "Pennies On the Track" has an original melody with Michelle Malone, guest on guitar, bolstering one of Ray's most emotionally powerful vocals, "Damn all the cost of the assault." The slow acoustic ballad "Rodeo" stands out because it is a beautiful melody and because it is so different from the rest of the "Prom" tracks, "My daddy was a grifter & I was in my momma's way. So I drifted for a while because I could not stand to stay." The CD ends with Ray's quintessential anthem "Let It Ring," a stadium-filler with a great melody, blasting guitars & Ray's pyrotechnical vocals, "Let it ring to Jesus 'cause he'd sure be proud of you; you made fear an institution & it got the best of you." Other tracks like "Give In" & "Driver Education" are strong. The booklet photography of Amy dressed as a band member playing a flute, a plaid rocker, cheerleader, football player, nerd, hippy, and both genders of a prom date show versatility. "Prom" tackles gay themes on many tracks without apology, but "Prom" is a great disc because it rocks relentlessly. Enjoy!"
Richard A. Lester | 05/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"my Ray, one half of the folk-rock duo Indigo Girls, is back with her second solo album, Prom. Released on her indie rock label Daemon Records, it represents both a departure and return to form. With her first solo album, Stag, Ray revealed an indie/punk rock side to her musical life that she had only previously hinted at on Indigo albums. Prom is very similar to her previous outing, and is all the better for it. She continues to deal with her anger towards homophobia and her own difficulties with relationships. The recordings are still somewhat lo-fi, and most have the sort of sloppy feeling of doing it all in one take. At 32 minutes, Prom's 10 songs fly by; never out staying their welcome. It will definitely leave you hitting the repeat button again and again."
One excellent cd
J. F Palmer | Tucker, GA United States | 09/21/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love this cd so much! The lyrics hit right in the gut and the songs are set to beats that really reel you in. Put it out for good, cover for me and let it ring are my favorites but there's not a weak song on this album period. I love the stripped down sound, the high school choruses, everything. Amy, you're great!"
Don't miss this one, it rocks
N. Siores | Washington | 12/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Game on, this is good stuff! To be honest, I wanted to like Ray's first solo Stag a lot more than I did, which is why I walked, not ran to Prom, But then that was before I caught the Indigo Girls last summer, where Ray and her mandolin wowed the crowd with the anthem Let It Ring. It was the first time I'd heard it and it made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.
The theme throughout is pretty obvious, it's called Prom, after all. But it's also pretty obvious that you didn't have to grow up queer in small town rural America to feel like a freak. The sentiments of adolescent angst and isolation are universal, after all. But beyond waxing poetic about adolescence, there are some great cuts offering stories of love's trainwrecks and dissatisfaction with the music industry, as well.
This album is less gritty than Stag and the sound is a lot more refreshing and graceful than you might expect. This outing is to Ray as All That We Let In is to Indigo Girls.
The album showcases the elements we've come to expect from Ray and the Indigo Girls: unflinchingly honest lyrics coupled with uncompromising musicianship. Those are rare commodities in today's music industry. Unleash your inner awkward teenage/freak/geek self and enjoy the Prom. "