Album Review

Kristin Hersh - Learn To Sing Like A Star

Kristin Hersh - Learn To Sing Like A Star

What's most impressive about Kristin Hersh's eleventh record since leaving Throwing Muses (eight solo, three with 50 Foot Wave) is her total and fearless commitment to artistry, owing nothing to no one, no hint of influence or desire to please any audience. As with a great PJ Harvey or Alejandro Escovedo record, effort from the listener, while required, will be duly rewarded. Which is not to say this is a difficult record to enjoy. The soaring chorus to the opening track, "In Shock", stays with you; "Sugarbaby" is a delicious bit of ear candy; "Wild Vanilla" approaches garage psychedelia. Sonically, there is a broad palette here, from the jarring yelps of "Day Glo" ("Getting up is what huuurrrts!!!") to the gorgeously quiet solitude of "Winter". But it is a cohesive whole, bound together by excellent use of strings and acoustic guitars, and, of course, Hersh's off-center lyrics ("The lizard looking up at me is so goddamn Disney").