Ten-year anniversary re-release of singer-songwriter Kristin Hersh’s ninth studio album “Crooked.” Hersh was a founding member of the massively-influential alternative rock band Throwing Muses (which became the first American band to be signed to 4AD in 1985) and the more electric-leaning power trio 50 Foot Wave. Known for her highly-creative folk and stream-of-consciousness inspired songwriting, Hersh also exercises complete autonomy in this album, handling the wide gamut of instrumentation herself. Pretty intriguing stuff—intricate arrangements, a sparse almost unsettling atmosphere, and often-puzzling lyrics illuminated by her characteristic age-worn voice.
(1.) (4:57) Slow-building and airy with slowly crooned, almost whispered vocals. Picks up halfway with snarling grungy guitar solos (2.) (3:07) Upbeat but desperate atmosphere with forcefully strummed acoustic guitar and belted lyrics (*3.) (3:31) Lush flute intro transitions into an amazing, fiery rocker with great interplay between electric and acoustic guitar. Ends gently, just like it started (4.) (3:36) (FCC: fucking) Classic grainy 90’s alt rock flavor (*5.) (4:17) Slow-building and swaying with standout emotional vocals (6.) (4:16) Rustic with plenty of fret sliding. Dense, layered vocals punctuated by squeals of guitar (*7.) (3:10) Churning percussion. Imminent and captivating with bold layered vocals and broad minimalist guitar solos peppered with static (*8.) (5:29) Bouncy bassline with gruff commanding vocals. Great suspenseful production ending in a wash of noise that slowly fades (9.) (4:02) Solemn, midtempo desert ballad (10.) (3:41) Shimmering tambourine, scorching fuzzed-out guitars, stretched out vocal melodies