CD Oh, My Girl [655173103623] (CD 996450),
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Oh, My Girl [655173103623]

  • 1. Oh, My Girl
    2. You Are Not Gotten Here
    3. Troubled Soul
    4. Dreaming Dead, The
    5. Your Eyes Told
    6. Tell the Boys
    7. Birds Over Water
    8. Winter Hunter
    9. House by the Lake
    10. Grow a New Heart
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 36

  • Credits
    ProducerTucker Martine; Tucker Martine
    EngineerTucker Martine; Tucker Martine

    Jesse Sykes: Jesse Sykes; Bill Herzog (double bass); Phil Wandscher, Anne Marie Ruljancich, Kevin Warner.
    Personnel: Jesse Sykes (vocals, acoustic guitar); Phil Wandscher (vocals, guitar, harmonium, organ); Anne Marie Ruljancich (vocals, viola); Bill Herzog (vocals, upright bass); Jon Hyde (acoustic guitar); Ian Parks (banjo, mandolin); Dave Carter (flugelhorn); Steve Moore (trombone, piano, Wurlitzer organ, keyboards, vibraphone); Greg Readling (organ); Tucker Martine, Kevin Warner (drums, percussion).
    Additional personnel: Greg Readling (pedal steel guitar); Steve Moore (Wurlitzer piano); Ron Weinstein (Hammond b-3 organ); Dave Carter , Tucker Martine, Jon Hyde, Ian Parks.
    Audio Mixer: Tucker Martine.
    Recording information: Flora, Seattle, WA.
    Photographers: Jesse Sykes; Stanford Wilson; Butch Hogan.
    Oh, My Girl, the second album by singer/songwriter Jesse Sykes and her band the Sweet Hereafter -- led by Phil Wandscher -- picks up where her debut, Reckless Burning, left off. Songs are played at cough-syrup tempo, production is sparse, instrumentation equally so, offering just enough of a frame for the melody and lyrics to hang themselves on, and everything, absolutely everything, is underplayed. There is plenty of dynamic tension, but little to no dynamic range. Yes, this is a good thing. Sykes' ghostly voice, which hovers about her words more than inhabits them, has enough old-world folkiness, raw -- if intentionally muted -- willingness, and lonesome country pain in it to carry off these tunes with authority. Produced, mixed and engineered by multi-instrumentalist Tucker Martine, Oh, My Girl is full of slow, dipping passion, moody expressionism and poetic smarts to make it stand out in a sensual, narcotic way from the rest of the gothic alterna-twang pack. And one more thing: Sykes has more emotion in the grain of her halting, cracking voice than a whole army of Margo Timmins'es -- so let the comparisons stop now, please. ~ Thom Jurek

  • Critic Reviews
    Rolling Stone (p.188) - 3 1/2 stars out of 5 - "[H]aunted tales of betrayal and loss, spun by a narrator who marks time by the seasons and speaks in beautiful, disarming nature metaphors."
    Q (p.107) - 3 stars out of 5 - "[With] more subtle colourings - mournful cello, ghostly piano, occasional horns - woven into a beautifully produced, spartan backdrop. It's hypnotic stuff..."
    Uncut (p.91) - 4 stars out of 5 - "Crowning glory 'House Down By The Lake' is a somewhat improbable triumph of bluegrass reel and brass flurry. Now that's progress."
    Magnet (p.108) - "Sykes, in a husky-yet-vulnerable voice equal parts Chan Marshall and Linda Thompson, weaves a disconsolate, haunting tale of fever, loss and solitude."
    Magnet (p.67) - Ranked #14 in Magnet's "The 20 Best Albums Of 2004" - "Loneliness never sounded quite so dreamy and seductive."
    Mojo (Publisher) (p.110) - 3 stars out of 5 - "There's a desolate beauty in the floatiness of the melodies..."
    Mojo (Publisher) (p.106) - 4 stars out of 5 - "OH, MY GIRL exploits a spare but refined folk rock palette to paint richly detailed evocations of love gone awry....[The album] accurately captures the weary throb of heartbreak..."
    Paste (magazine) - "Jesse Sykes, with her dusky, rich alto and devastatingly aching delivery, sounds like the reincarnation of Sandy Denny, and she's transplanted that miraculous voice to desolate and desperate territory."
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