CD SKY MOTEL  (CD 4429325),
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SKY MOTEL 
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 9008
Personnel: Kristin Hersh (vocals, various instruments); Carlo Nuccio (drums, drum loops); David Narcizo (drum loops); Trina Shoemaker (background vocals).
Recorded at Kingsway USA, New Orleans, Louisiana in August 1998.
Fans should be grateful for whatever it is that goes on in the mind and heart of singer/songwriter extraordinaire Kristen Hersh to make her produce such dreamy, tortured, beautiful music. She's made album after consistently strong album since her mid '80s heyday with Throwing Muses.
With SKY MOTEL, there's no evidence that Kristen Hersh's gifts are waning. "Echo," the album's opener, features her trademark elastic melodies and fluid guitar lines as they snake through crunching, riff-driven progressions or deftly woven dynamic shifts. Some songs, such as "Costa Rica," and the ghostly "Husk," drip with an eerie, little girl singsong quality, while others, like "Cathedral Heat," burble with the odd, fairytale logic of alien psychological territory. Here, Hersh has expanded the instrumentation and general sonic palette of her solo work (both HIPS AND MAKERS and STRANGE ANGELS are primarily acoustic), and the results are further refined by her increasing mastery of studio production. SKY MOTEL is another gem from one of alternative rock's brightest lights.
Spin (8/99, p.158) - 8 out of 10 - "...SKY MOTEL is...thick with electric guitars, dense samples, churning drums, and edgy bits of lounge and electronica. It's all high-wire tension and brilliant release..."
Entertainment Weekly (7/23/99, pp.68-9) - "...extraoridnary....Nobody else can navigate so eerily between trancelike pull...and pure blinding intensity..." - Rating: A-
Q (8/99, p.106) - 3 stars (out of 5) - "...Hersh's ear for melody, heartfelt lyrics and unique voice result in an inriguing collage..."
Alternative Press (11/99, p.103) - 3 out of 5 - "...mixing urgent acoustic guitar with moaning keyboards and slithering bass lines, all snapped to attention by Hersh's creepy, low-centered vocal delivery....highlights one artist who simply became one."
Magnet (8-9/99, p.76) - "...Besides proving herself to be an accomplished songwriter, Hersh shows her musical chops, as she played all the instruments here..."
The Wire (6/99, p.68) - "...SKY MOTEL is...a return to more rock-solid song values....The streamlined but powerful songs...give the record an overall feeling of cohesion."
CMJ (7/5/99, p.5) - "...Hersh leaves the acoustic guitar alone, for the most part, and plays with electric textures that hearken back to her days in Throwing Muses. The result is a set of oblique melodies and angular poetics buoyed by noir-ish guitar buzz that frequently plateaus into friendly pop..."
Mojo (Publisher) (7/99, p.108) - "...obviously enjoying a new romance with her electric....The Schadenfreude vultures will be disappointed to find her in such good mental health."
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4AD (USA) 9008
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