M. Longazel | 04/25/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A roommate of mine would play this CD on Saturday mornings while she was cooking breakfast and after hearing it a couple times from my room I would come out and sit just to listen. Somehow the music fit the mood of late morning mixed with the aroma of eggs and such. Now I have it for myself and Jolie Holland's sad, satirical, yet energetic music is a memory into that time. Thanks Marit."
Maybe she's a poor girl but it doesn't bother me at all
Pharoah S. Wail | Inner Space | 06/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love this album but I can see from some reviews that some people hate her. I'm not sure what is pretentious about her delivery. I think Jolie is amazing. I've never heard anyone like her. She sings like a trumpet player from some dark holler. She blurs time in a way that would make the old pre-war blues masters proud. I love her timing. Does she have a unique vocal style? Yes she does but then again so did Tommy Johnson and Skip James but I don't hear anyone calling those guys frauds. Thank goodness.
I'm reviewing this because I unfortunately don't have her new album yet, Springtime Can Kill You, so I've been listening to this one almost daily just to alleviate my anxiety over Springtime.
Jolie seems to me to be a gift from another era, though she's in no way derivative of anyone else I've ever heard. I feel like she is an artist who, if she had been discovered on a bunch of crackling old Paramount sides in someone's attic, she'd have been considered the find of the decade. Having said that, she is also very much an artist of our own times.
For me, there is something very real about her songs, style and music. It all seems so small and personal. I never think of her in terms of this big artist who plays concerts in various countries. I think of her more in terms of... if this were a woman I knew or was friends with and she was sitting on a couch 8 feet away from me and she began to do her thing, I'd be blown away. She's a singular voice and vision that seems to somehow meld old-timey music with Tidal-era Fiona Apple. Even that description fails miserably. I never truly feel as if she has melded anything. I just feel like she picks up an instrument, opens her mouth, and this is what happens. It's truly her own.
"I used to be an angel, now I'm just like everybody else" makes me wonder if she is an Ani Difranco fan. Certainly that sentiment is similar to that in Ani's Superhero, and expressed in much the same manner in this line.
Goodbye California is the only song I dislike, and I hate that one. I love everything else but I can't stand that song.
I'd love for Erykah Badu to hear Jolie. I fear over time Erykah may become a victim of the fickle nature which is at the core of many of the modern R&B fans who are always looking for the next hit tune, only to forget a few years later. Erykah's music is bigger than the whole of the genre to which she's been pigeonholed. Both Jolie and Erykah receive lots of comparisons to Billie Holiday and I feel it's generally unwarranted in both cases. I think it's a journalistic convenience which really doesn't have much basis in the music of any of these 3 great artists. I think hearing Jolie may inspire Erykah to tap into her inner Victoria Spivey which would then expose her to a whole new audience, and one that has a longer attention span."
A voice from another time / place / world?
T. Burrows | New York, NY | 07/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I can't stop listening to that voice of hers - it is like a cross between Victoria Williams, Billie Holiday, and Ben Webster. It is more like a saxophone than a voice, a saxophone coming from some Sunday afternoon show at a smoky little club down the street, that makes you say, "Hey, who is that?" You can't miss the soulfulness of her sound.
I think she has the potential to be one of the great American musicians if she keeps producing stuff like this. Mellow, bluesy folk-rock with her own unique twists. Odd but intriguing lyrics, songs that draw you in and make you think, then pop up in your head days later. I just saw her live, and she started out slow and easy, not very exciting, but as the show went on, the crowd got more and more into it, and by the end of it, she had totally won us over.
On the downside, her playing does not seem to interact incredibly well with her band's, and she is not a virtuoso guitarist or pianist, but so what? Her music is unique and wonderful."