|2. White Trash Moon|
|4. Costa Rica|
|5. Cleaner Light, A|
|6. San Francisco|
|7. Cathedral Heat|
|11. Clay Feet|
Hersh's songwriting on SKY MOTEL is as strong and idiosyncratic as ever, but the electric guitars and David Narcizo on drums give each track an added punch that make this her most accessible solo effort yet. The powerful "Echo" makes an excellent opening. "A Cleaner Light" is a rarity in pop music, a track that is both artistically viable and radio-friendly. "Cathedral Heat" is perhaps the album's highest peak, as Kristin sings "kissing in the middle of a terrible storm." The quiet "Faith" trails off to mark the end of this worthy album.
Forgetting about individual tracks and looking at the album as a whole, this disc takes time to grow on the listener, but it ultimately satisfies. Kristin Hersh's lyricism is certainly out of the ordinary, but once you get the core essence of the album, it all flows well.
For those who have yet to hear Kristin, I would recommend this over her two previous solo albums, HIPS AND MAKERS and STRANGE ANGELS, as the electric guitars of SKY MOTEL give it a wide range of appeal.
A complicated musician none the less , Hersh is no newcomer to the female rock scene . She is being fronting The Throwing Muses for years now and has already released five albums as a solo artist . Her records owe much of their charm to the power of her personallity . She is a woman who has " battled her own demons " and won , saw visions and illusions which caused her physical pain while writing many of her songs and all that long before all these female musicians started pretending to have 'mental disorders' just so they could sell some records . She is the real thing . She has always been honest with her public and she deserves credit for it . Never really did she seem to care about topping the charts or anything even remotely close to that . Much of her previous stuff is totally anticommercial , especially one of The Muses' latest releases , 1996's Limbo .
" Sky Motel " now is a record as enigmatic as they go . It contains a number of melodies locked into their own private universe ( " Costa Rica " , " San Francisco " ) . What is really difficult to understand is the mood the gifted singer is in while singing lyrics like " God bless the ugly / cheap champagne and blackjack on the bed / i was born in America / born with the fists of a saint ... " . Is she sad , cynical , dissapointed , happy or maybe all these together ? Ofcourse that doesn't mean that Hersh's virtues as a singer-songwritter aren't many because they really are and always present in each and everyone of her albums . " A Cleaner Light " brings in mind some of The Muses' best moments like " Bright Yellow Gun " , " Hush " is mysterious and haunting while " Cafeine " is melancholic and in it's own way romantic ( " I feel your heart beating / i hear your soft breathing " ) .
In conlusion ? ... Well it's actually hard to end up to a single simple conlusion about singers like Hersh . The music , the tortured voice , the lyrics all add up to something deeply personal which is natural not to sound appealing for everyone . One thing is sure though : artists like that shouldn't be ignored . Understanding the essence of their work is a challenge , exploring their thoughs is an experience .
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