Jolie Holland CD review [Anti]

Music Reviews
Jolie Holland CD review [Anti]
May 9, 2006, 18:52

JOLIE HOLLAND Springtime Can Kill You CD

With a soft and supple twang, Jolie Holland delivers a solid batch of songs that run the ropes of the new-folk revival. But unlike straight-ahead folk contemporaries like Lavender Diamond, Holland's range is based upon a wider foundation of blue grass and country western traditions. With a quivering voice that sounds at times like a dizzying mix of Bjork, Devendra Banhart, and Chan Marshall, Holland tells twelve stories about first crushes and unrequited love set in both urban ghettos and country backwoods. Lyrically, Holland's writing is subtle and carefully evocative: “Stubborn Beast” asks, “Why don't you take me when I'm willing?/But like a stubborn beast when the barn is on fire/I might resist you when you try to save my life.” In a genre of music that is more often than not boring, this record succeeds with its good pacing, varied song style, and fine orchestration of piano, lap steel, and percussion which keep the record moving. And in an odd way, the old-timey aesthetic of the album packaging (which includes a booklet of lyrics and photos) brings to mind a strange hybrid of Gin Stevens meets Dame Darcy. [Anti-]

-Paul Matthew

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