Album Reviews


Laurie Anderson

Life On A String  Hear it Now

RS: 3.5of 5 Stars Average User Rating: 4of 5 Stars


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Don't let the deadpan voice, arch phrasing and avant-garde haircut fool you. Despite her forbidding performance-art reputation, Laurie Anderson is a singer-songwriter of crushing poignance - a minimalist painter of melancholy moods who addresses universal themes in the vernacular of the commonplace. She's at her best on Life on a String, her first studio album in seven years. Horns dance like Mardi Gras revelers through "The Island Where I Come From," and Van Dyke Parks' daring string arrangement imbues "Dark Angel" with impish humor. But the overall tone is sparse, haunted, intimate. Vertigo-inducing violins and luminous bass tones speak Anderson's language - a poetry of loneliness that peaks through "Pieces and Parts" and the brief instrumental "Here With You"; towers majestically on the deathbed meditation "Slip Away"; then walks away with the album on the impossibly fragile, beautifully realized title track.

(RS 876 - August 30, 2001)

(Posted: Aug 6, 2001)


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