Sunday, 5 February 2012

Gretchen Peters - Hello Cruel World

Felicitations To The Pain

If mature self-reflection and classic American confession is to your taste, then this is an album of both, augmented by cover-to-cover musical confidence.

I had the pleasure of seeing Gretchen Peters playing live locally a few years ago and she is simply a great artist. This album is distinguished by the intelligence of the lyrics and the assured strength of Peters' vocal. I played this on a recent walk and the performances had a power to make me concentrate and hear rather than just listen. I hope that deceptively pat line carries the true weight of its simple but heartfelt message.

The Matador is heated in its storytelling with the haunting accordion and metaphor or real killing; Dark Angel is enhanced with the accompaniment of Rodney Crowell and the hardly original but convincing oxymoron of the lyric and if there's no hereafter/oh and there is only here/life is still a beautiful disaster, and the Bobby Gentryesque string-infused southern blues of Paradise Found is as sultry as a swamp.

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