My favorite Rasputina
The Pitiful Anonymous | the Acres of Skin | 08/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Rasputina's "Thanks for the Ether" is a hard to describe, hard to absorb, but ultimately brilliant album. The band is comprised of 3 cello players, and as far as classification, it's classical, orchestral cello music in more traditional rock song structure. For many like me who listen to mostly contemporary music, it's almost like a different language and could be an acquired taste.
Charismatic frontwoman Melora Creager makes the album (and the band), with her incredibly detailed and descriptive lyrics, usually descriptions of some event, person or situation. She also has a wicked sense of humor, evidenced in her stage presence and the spoken word interludes on this album (including one insisting that the term "settlers" implies the "willingness to settle for a meal of human flesh"). More subtlely funny moments included the purposely mumbled and indecipherable lyrics of "Sister Sleep". Song topics range from the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire to a mysterious note signed 'Mr. E. Leon Rauis'. Oh yeah, and she's an awesome singer, with a distinctive sound, range and a lot of vibrato.
There are a full 19 songs on this album (even the spoken word pieces have cello accompaniment) and none of them are at all weak. My personal favorites are the lively "Stumpside", and the more melancholic tunes like "Any Old Actress" and mysterious "Dig Ophelia". There's a catchy melody at the root of every song here, and a ton of diversity. There's also some covers of older songs, Melanie's "Brand New Key" and "Why Don't You Do Right". For all the cleverness and humor, a lot of these songs have real emotional effect on me. The feel is often one of nostalgia and conjures up images of the Victorian times that they're so enamoured with.
The difference between this and later Rasputina is that on later albums such as "How We Quit the Forest" (also great) they were literally playing classic rock songs on the cello, distortion and all, and the arrangements were simplified compared to the full blown harmonizing and intricacy of this first album.
So, there's my bad attempt at describing this band / album, which is a lot more than just a novelty. "Thanks for the Ether" is highly recommended to anyone looking for something different, and if you get the chance to see this band live, it's an experience you'll never forget."
GalaxieBleu | Texas | 06/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of my top fave Rasputina albums. Tons of great songs, very few joke songs, and great art work."