Monday, June 8, 2009

An Indigo Girls review, 2 months late

The latest Indigo Girls album, Poseidon and the Bitter Bug, came out at the end of March. However, that was the US release date, and since my iTunes is configured for the UK (so I can use my iPhone), I had to wait. And wait. And wait some more. And then I got distracted.

I finally downloaded the album this weekend, and listened to it all the way through at work today (hooray for having my own office). Amy, Emily and I go WAAY back - my dad first heard them on NPR back in the early 90s, then I spent lots of time sitting around campfires in Vermont singing Closer To Fine, then listened to them all through high school, went to a few concerts (and wrote a few musicology papers) in college, and then have seen them perform in New York (lots of times) and Cambridge (just once). I'm predisposed to enjoy me some Indigos.

I'm still on the fence about this album, though, which I think is partly a result of the way it's presented. I bought the 'deluxe edition' on iTunes, and it features every song in both a "studio" and "acoustic" version. Why? Give me the same number of tracks, once, and YOU as the artist decide if it sounds better as the studio version or the acoustic version. Please? Even I, the hardcore IG fan who can listen to hours and hours of Amy 'n Emily, have trouble listening to the same album twice in a row. And what will become of me if I put the album on "shuffle"? I may suffer the indignity of hearing the same song twice in a row. On MORE than one song!

Taking the album as ONE set of songs, though, the songs are classic Indigo. There were two where I found the music particularly interesting:

First, "Love Of Our Lives" opens with Amy and Emily singing in unison, followed by a section with them singing in octaves - I can't think of any other songs of theirs where they sing together without harmonising for more than a note or two.

Second (although it's earlier on the album), "Sugar Tongue" has Amy singing a very "Emily" song, in a much higher register than she usually sings. It makes her sound completely different - it's almost like a falsetto.

Musicologists, start your engines!

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