Search - Lisa Germano :: In the Maybe World

In the Maybe World
Lisa Germano
In the Maybe World
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
 
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

A gifted lyricist and powerful singer, Germano is also a talented multi-instrumentalist, playing the violin, piano and guitar with equal aplomb. Her poignant, heartbreakingly beautiful songs often possess such an intensity...  more »

     
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CD Details

All Artists: Lisa Germano
Title: In the Maybe World
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Young God Records
Original Release Date: 1/1/2006
Re-Release Date: 7/18/2006
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Style: Indie & Lo-Fi
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 658457003220

Synopsis

Album Description
A gifted lyricist and powerful singer, Germano is also a talented multi-instrumentalist, playing the violin, piano and guitar with equal aplomb. Her poignant, heartbreakingly beautiful songs often possess such an intensity of feeling that listening in can be a little frightening at times. Germano began recording in the '90s, first for Capitol Records, then for a number of very productive years with 4AD. Most notable among these releases are the fantastic Geek, The Girl, and Excerpts From A Love Circus. These missives of emotional damage and impossible love are extremely personal documents, simultaneously self-effacing and confrontational. Over the years Germano has received acclaim from all over, from independent-oriented fanzines to Spin, Rolling Stone, and the rest. In 2003 she released the absolutely beautiful and wrenching audio journey Lullaby For Liquid Pig, featuring woozy paeans to alcohol, fantasy landscapes and out-of-focus dramas. Other projects over the years include the OP8 album-- a collaboration with Giant Sand and Calexico-- and stints with artists as diverse as Eels, David Bowie, Neil Finn, John Mellencamp, Simple Minds, Iggy Pop, The Indigo Girls and Sheryl Crow, among others. In The Maybe World features some of Germano's best work to date. Typically, her self-produced arrangements are uniquely inventive, her lyrics cut right to the core, and her voice carries gently into a world where distinctions between beauty, loss, love and pain tend to blur.

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CD Reviews

The light at the end of the tunnel...
Ferrara Brain Pan | San Francisco CA | 07/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a long but nevertheless abbreviated excerpt of a review I wrote in my blog - You can read the entire review here: http://people.tribe.net/ferrarabrainpan/blog/8e38cf45-36f3-4140-bb03-4fa1c39af618


As Lisa Germano albums go, In The Maybe World is about what I'd expect from her at this point, if not everything I could hope for - which is to say, it's beautiful, and moving, and well-written and imaginatively recorded, though I might have liked it to be a bit longer, and stranger, with more animal sound effects (there's birdies on this one but no pussy cats). It's very intimate and low-key in the manner of the previous and afore-mentioned Liquid Pig, though not quite as weird and disorienting (in passages) as that one was. Her songwriting is dependably melancholy and enchanting in the fashion she's well loved for, with achingly sad and cadenced melodies and prosaically understated lyrics. The arrangements are endearingly forlorn, with piano as the lead instrument accompanied by other odd keyboard parts and scraping violin or the occasional guitar, and occasional unexpected gusts of low-fi ambience and effects. Her vocal delivery is by now familiar to her fans: close and breathy (think: 'closet mix'), hurt and heartfelt, broken and vulnerable, with unaffected awkwardness and sincerity (and less of the self-deprecating irony than was evident mostly on her earlier albums). Like Liquid Pig, this album is concise and under-embellished, with twelve songs in under thirty-five minutes. A couple of the tracks are just about perfect, the sort of ballads that she's known and loved for: "Too Much Space" and "Except For The Ghosts" both are built around achingly beautiful melodies that breathe such an air of hopeful warmth and sorrowful regret that John Lennon or Baby Dee might have written them. And most of the other songs are nearly as evocative and well-crafted. "Golden Cities" (a song for Lisa's beloved and departed cat, Miamo-Tutti) is graced by dreamy keyboard patches that sound like celeste and carousel organ, coming in gentle swells with quaintly lilting violin (my advance promo of the album lacks any personnel credits, but since Lisa is well-accomplished on piano, guitar and violin, I'm guessing she performed most or all of the instrument tracks herself). "Into Oblivion" is the quintessential Lisa Germano lullaby: dreamily, drearily luring us into emotional collapse and self-annihilation. "In The Land Of Fairies" is a sinister, malevolent little nursery rhyme, calling out to shadows, and to our own individual Shadow in the Jungian sense). A couple tracks ("Wire' and "A Seed") seem rather sketchy and inconsequential in and of themselves, though both of these serve mainly as interludes or transitory passages, clocking in at less than two minutes each. Production-wise, I'd place this new album alongside Liquid Pig in terms of the atmosphere of late-night intimacy, though it generally lacks some of that record's occasional weird vocal effects and disturbingly topsy-turvy approaches to mixing and recording. But this batch of songs reminds me more of 1996's Excerpts From A Love Circus in a way I can't fully describe - though I think it's in the 'antique' or 'fairy tale' quality of the melodies and arrangements, as well as in the (slightly) more optimistic tone of feeling.

As her writing has matured over the years, Lisa's lyrics have become a bit hard to pin down from one record to the next. Early on, it was pretty transparent that she was singing about her own problems, or taking on the role of a typical girl with issues. But with songs like the bewilderingly brilliant and apocalyptic "Reptile" (from 1999's Slide), her words got more abstracted from familiar situation and identifiable emotion, embodying rather than explaining the terrain of psychological dissolution and uncertainty out of which her songs often seem to evolve. One constant in both her words and music, and which is evident here in spades, is her perfected sense of the bittersweet, a one-word description that applies so well to so many of her songs. Whereas Lullaby For Liquid Pig was about need and addiction on many levels (alcoholism, emotional dependency, social and moral prisons of habituation), the artist has revealed online that In The Maybe World is all about death. The title track alludes to the 'in-between' place of undefined potentiality after death, once the soul has become disembodied and before the psyche's projections have coalesced into some sort of afterlife or reincarnate existence. Two songs deal directly and literally with the subject of mortality, though I frankly wouldn't have guessed it if she hadn't supplemented her lyrics with explanatory comments on the website (linked above), revealing that - besides "Golden Cities" being about the passing of her cat - "Except For The Ghosts" was written in memory of Jeff Buckley. I've always thought that Radiohead's "Pyramid Song" was a haunting elegy for Buckley - well, Lisa's written another one, and it's a gorgeous tearjerker of a ballad, with such measured grace and longing, loss and acceptance of impermanence. But if the ground of her literary intent is sometimes nebulous, it's not that her lyrics are particularly abstract or metaphorically challenging (the chorus of "Red Thread" goes "Go to hell / F**k you / Go to hell / F**k you"... how direct is that?). Often her choice of words can seem deliberately clumsy and colloquial. But her songs deal more directly with feelings (usually) and less so with clearly delineated characters and situations, which makes them all the more timelessly durable.

In The Maybe World continues to advance and consolidate Lisa Germano's standing as one of today's most gifted and accomplished singer-songwriters. While comparisons with other female indie confessional' balladeers such as Cat Power (who's not even in the same league with Germano as regards songwriting ability) or Tori Amos (whose work I have mostly found to be insufferably overwrought, though her artistry is of comparable caliber) are admissible, I think Germano has really established her own niche. Hopefully, the dark cachet of Michael Gira and Young God Records can serve to bring her work to a larger, much deserved and appreciative audience."
Powerful emotions, fantastic music
WoW | Netherlands | 07/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is Lisa Germano's latest offering, and it seems as if she's looked back to her previous work, and took all the best bits and poured it into this great little record. Little, in the sense that it is rather short (just over 30 minutes).
On this album you will hear songs reminding you of the best bits of Geek the Girl, Love Circus, Liquid Pig and even Moon Palace; lyrically, Lisa tackles some heavy and powerful emotions, like death, self-loathing, relationships gone bad, etc. The production is more 'raw' than on her 4AD albums, but that helps the overall effect, I think. An album not to be missed!"
Lisa Germano's BEST...
babysue | TN | 06/09/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Lisa Germano has recorded some incredible albums over the years...but "In The Maybe World" is undoubtedly her best. With lyrics that are light years ahead of their time and melodies that will stick with you for the rest of your life...this is probably one of the most genuinely personal albums ever recorded. Can't recommend this one highly enough. Totally mind blowing from start to finish..."