lifeblood: listlogs: 2006v09n058-news

ig-news-digest       friday, september 15 2006       volume 09 : number 058

today's subjects:
  [ig-news] metro weekly dod review   [sherlyn koo <>]


date: fri, 15 sep 2006 11:21:17 +1000
from: sherlyn koo <>
subject: [ig-news] metro weekly dod review

hi everyone,

here's a review of "despite our differences" from washington dc's
metro weekly.  you can read it online at:


- ---begin forwarded article---
different strokes
the indigo girls return for a tenth studio album that captures the
organic spirit of amy and emily's live performances
by tim swoape
published on 09/14/2006

it's hard to believe that folk-pop mainstays the indigo girls have
been recording together for twenty years, but then again, who can
imagine a summer concert season without them? despite our differences,
their tenth studio album, is a celebration of the two distinct
personalities and songwriting styles of amy ray and emily saliers.
emily is the gentle, romantic yin to amy's rockin',
politically-charged yang. their differences create a unique tension
and balance that has endeared them to fans for two decades. moving
beyond their personal differences, the album also addresses the
growing unrest in the world, as well as the give-and-take of intimate
relationships, placing despite our differences among the duo's finest

despite our differences is the duo's first album for disney-owned
hollywood records, their new home after completing their contract with
epic, where they have resided since their 1989 major label debut. but
never fear, the girls haven't toned down their leftist political
rhetoric and occasional f-bombs for their family-friendly parent
company. while the new label brings with it a series of changes, the
girls' signature harmonies and heartfelt songs are still at the

this time around, the girls pair with veteran producer mitchell froom
(suzanne vega, sheryl crow, paul mccartney, los lobos), leaving behind
their comfortable georgia digs in favor of froom's intimate home
studio in santa monica. the duo recorded most of the album live in one
room, and the recording time was also condensed by half, clocking in
at six weeks instead of the usual three months. the result is a
stripped-down, organic album that comes remarkably close to capturing
the energy of the indigo girls' ever-popular live performances.

once again, emily explores love and relationships in the moving
affirmation of ''i believe in love'' and on ''lay my head down,'' a
song in which a partner provides a comforting, emotional center in an
otherwise chaotic world. ''fly away,'' a serene piano ballad
reminiscent of ''leeds,'' showcases the upper register of her voice.

amy continues to expand her songcraft as she explores larger social
concerns in contemporary america. her acoustic ''dirt and dead ends,''
a stark portrait of desolation and desperation in the heartland,
shines as one of differences' most brilliant moments. the hardships
and harsh realities of bank foreclosures, meth labs, and encroaching
suburbia are addressed with frank, detail-rich lyrics. a plaintive
harmonica punctuates the somber song like a tubleweed rolling across a
forsaken midwestern landscape. she again takes on suburbanization and
the plight of rural, agriarian life in ''they won't have me'' --
''who's gonna do the planting, and who's gonna pray for rain, and
who's gonna keep the farm land from the subdivision man?''

despite our differences also offers a pair of compelling guest vocal
turns. pop badass pink delivers a full-throttle call-and-response
counter melody on amy's ''rock and roll heaven's gate,'' which
chronicles the demise of several influential punk bands. with driving
drum beats and grinding electric guitars in the punk tradition, it's
by far the hardest rocking song on the album, and a strong argument in
favor more pink/amy ray collaborations. pink is simply repaying a
favor; the girls joined pink on the bush-bashing ''dear mr.
president,'' an acoustic protest song on her most recent album. on the
other end of the musical spectrum, emerging singer-singwriter and
recent indigo girls tourmate brandi carlile harmonizes with emily on
album closer ''last tears,'' a mournful pedal steel-inflected country
song resolute in moving on after a relationship's end.

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end of ig-news-digest v9 #58

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