Family Swan,The 0802


rovi.MR0000834304 8/20/02 Used
$1.19 $1.49

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    Family Swan,The 0802 Kill Rock Stars

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Review Text Far too many bands utilize the human voice in one of two ways: to get a message across -- whereby meaning trumps sound -- or as an instrument in and of itself -- whereby sound trumps meaning. But Mecca Normal's Jean Smith, who is also a novelist, has stories to tell and the instantly arresting means to get them across. In that sense, she's a bit like Sleater-Kinney's Corin Tucker -- but with even more of an edge -- and with a greater emphasis on folk than rock & roll. At times on The Family Swan, as in the song "What About the Boy," she comes across more like a punk poet than a singer (à la '70s-era Patti Smith); on others, as in "In January," her voice is as much an instrument as partner David Lester's eclectic electric guitar (à la Laurie Anderson or Sheila Chandra at their most avant-garde). Either way, she's always impassioned, never complacent -- even after over 20 years "on the job" (as it were). This can make for an uneasy, unsettling experience -- like reading a book by Virginia Woolf instead of Jane Austen or watching a movie by Catherine Breillat instead of Nora Ephron -- but a richly rewarding experience for the more adventurous, open-minded listener. ~ Kathleen C. Fennessy

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Is This You? - 5:20
  2. 2. What About the Boy? - 6:31
  3. 3. Revolution#Pine - 6:41
  4. 4. In January - 5:21
  5. 5. Every Wrong Word - 4:52
  6. 6. I Hear You - 1:09
  7. 7. Family Swan - 8:21
  8. 8. No Mind's Eye - 4:54
  9. 9. Ice Floes Aweigh - 4:09
  10. 10. Convince Yourself - 2:19

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