Guest review by Matt
guitar, bass and drums are a timeless combination. One listen to
Bob Dylan's John Wesley Harding, it easy to understand the musical
power of the trio. For her second full-length album, Amy Blaschke
matched her solemn acoustic guitar with bass and drums. The results:
an extremely plodding, boring, and monotone record.
It is not just the instrumentation
that fails Blaschke on this self-titled effort. While the acoustic
guitar, bass and drums add a consistent musical feel throughout
the tracks, it is Blaschke's often off-key, meandering, and unintelligible
vocals that add to the overall cant-wait-until-it's-over feel of
the album. There is a glimmer of hope on the album; "Sweet
Song" is an excellent piece of pseudo-pop songwriting with
a sense of optimism. Even if the album included only one other song
with a similar feel, it would have made for a much more enjoyable
Hailing from the musical
Mecca of Seattle, Blaschke is making a name for herself on the singer
songwriter circuit. While this particular record is a definite pass-over
there is no question of her talent and musical potential. It will
be interesting to watch Blaschke over the next few years, as she
will surely grow into and undeniable songwriting talent.
Posted Nov. 14,
2003. Copyright © 2003 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.
is Blaschke's often off-key, meandering, and unintelligible
vocals that add to the overall cant-wait-until-it's-over feel
of the album."
The last sentence
of Matt's review is what we call classic CYA back-peddling.
He, nor I, have any idea what kind of songwriter Blaschke
will grow into. I think she's already doing pretty well. I
happened to find not only "one other song" worth
pondering, but two or three. Not the least of which is the
album opener, "Estranged," which has one of the
more infectious counter guitar lines I've heard in a while.
"Skating at Night" also carries a sweet counter-melody,
with Blaschke mewing "It makes me sentimental."
almost atonal delivery comes from the same school of rag-doll-dressed
vocalists as Azure Ray, Cat Power, The Softies, even early
Liz Phair. And she writes songs just as well, though there's
no question that she could do with a bit more variety in her
tunesmithing next time 'round. Nice stuff, if you're in a