Sunday, March 28, 2010

Harp rocks

I usually enjoy weird, atypical music, but Joanna Newsom definitely stretched my limits, in a very good way. Her second album, Ys, is pretty much her and the harp, singing 10 minute songs about meteorites, bear and monkey stories, and many things that appear to have no connection whatsoever. And changing tune, mixing in a full orchestral outburst for a few moments, ignoring all standards of usual songwriting is not a problem either here.. but the result is really mesmerizing, and difficult to shake off. With her new album, Have one on me, the only big change is the appearance of many instruments, contrasting with the former sparsity of the harp and voice only. And yet, the album spans 3 cds, talks about spiders and other apparently random things, changes at every turn of every 10 minute song. Oh, and there is also a few harp and voice songs, to comfort the Ys fans. And the magic happens again: even though there is not a single song you can move your head to, it's hard to stop listening... so have a try, courtesy of NPR as usual (you can hear the album or a recent concert), see how atypical you can handle and actually enjoy!!

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