August 04, 2004

Lisa Dewey "Busk"

Lisa Dewey has been making dark music for many years now, releasing it on her own and taking care of business for herself. Impressiv, of course, but it should be noted that her independent streak is not done as compensation for a lack of quality. After all, if you want something done right, then why not do it yourself? With that attitude in mind, she founded Kitchen Whore, and she's never looked back. Can't say that I blame her, though.

Considering that the album is co-released with Bella Union (owned by former members of the Cocteau Twins), it's really not surprising that Busk, her fourth album, is a strong collection of dark, atmospheric folk-rock. Dewey's voice is strong and husky, which stands quite nicely with the brooding music that accompanies her. At times, such as on "Rushing" and "Mellow Day," this contrast proves to be quite awkward and bulky. On other songs, like the beautiful "Dream Wild' and "With You On My Mind," the contrast works quite well, producing a mature edge that makes you feel that Dewey's speaking to you from her own experiences, and you can't help but be drawn in by her singing.

Busk is a great record for those with heartache, because the songs are both depressing and detatched, hurt and healing, painful and promising. "It's gonna be fine!" she says at the end of "Thieves & Thievery," and though you might think her record is bleak, ultimately it is going to be fine. A little bit of hope delivered with depressingly bleak music? Man, could it get better than that?

--Joseph Kyle

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