CD Escondida [Jolie Holland] (CD 348291),
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Escondida [Jolie Holland]
2. Black Stars
3. Old Fashion Morphine
5. Mad Tom of Bedlam
6. Poor Girl
7. Goodbye California
8. Do You?
9. Darlin Ukelele
10. Damn Shame
11. Tiny Idyll / Lil Missy
12. Faded Coat of Blue
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 86692
Jolie Holland; Lemon DeGeorge
Personnel: Jolie Holland (vocals, guitar, ukelele, piano); Brian Miller (acoustic & electric guitars, background vocals); Keith Cory (banjo, mandolin, bass); Paul Scriver (soprano saxophone); Ara Cory (trumpet); Dave Mihaly (marimba, drums, background vocals); Enzo Garcia (saw).
Recorded at In The Pocket, Forestville, California.
With ESCONDIDA, singer/songwriter Jolie Holland has crafted a truly remarkable record. Spectral, rootsy, and evocative, these 12 tunes--which touch on blues, country, folk, and swing--reflect the precision of a new traditionalist, but bear a creative twist that keeps the whole from sounding like mere revival. Holland doesn't fit comfortably into any categories; her fusion of styles is made unique by her spare arrangements, creative instrumentation (the record features ukulele, marimba, musical saw, and soprano saxophone), and--most notably--her distinctive voice and loose, conversational phrasing.
The opener, "Sascha," a narrative about a chance romance sung with superb melodic flair over an easy swing progression, typifies Holland's musical aesthetic. The gorgeous "Black Stars," one of the finest tracks on ESCONDIDA, takes on a spooky, dreamy atmosphere with its mesmerizing vocal line. Holland shifts gears in the countrified gospel of "Goodbye California," the desperate ballad "Do You?," and the surreal "Darlin Ukelele." As a lyricist, Holland also impresses, weaving striking images and blues narratives together with apparent ease. On this album, Holland presents a collection of beautiful, soulful, Americana-tinged songs that are singular, strangely familiar, and undeniably good.
Uncut (p.98) - 4 stars out of 5 - "[T]here's a quirky, haunted quality to the songs....[T]he effect is of floating dazedly above worldly matters, like a figure in a Chagall painting."
Magnet (p.67) - Ranked #18 in Magnet's "The 20 Best Albums Of 2004" - "ESCONDIDA delivers the goods with the wilted-orchid whisper of Billie Holiday."
CMJ (p.6) - "ESCONDIDA is a reminder that Americana isn't about patriotism, it's about the twisted roots of blues, jazz and country growing into something strange and beautiful."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.110) - 4 stars out of 5 - "It really is incredibly good....A contemporary of Billie Holiday this time around rather than a disciple of Will Oldham."
Paste (magazine) - "Literate, spooky and utterly compelling, ESCONDIDA is not only an astonishing album, but the announcement of a singular, visionary talent."
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Anti (USA) 86692
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