Keren Ann’s last entirely English-language album, 2003’s Not Going Anywhere, housed the singer-songwriter’s wallflower vocals and plaintive lyrics among regal brass, bluesy guitars, and angelic choirs, creating a fertile sonic palette that rendered her voice as important—or unimportant, as the case may be—as every other musical sound. Things aren’t too far removed from that template on her new self-titled release—her voice never rises above a soft whisper. Keren Ann, who hails from Israel by way of Paris and New York, still has a knack for lovely melodies (like the ascending piano line of the ethereal “Liberty”) and exciting genre hybrids (“Where No Endings End” blends strings and piano with flutes and spaghetti-western guitar), but the arrangements are less striking here and the album lacks standouts like Not Going Anywhere‘s narrative “Sailor & Widow” and “End Of May,” which recalled Suzanne Vega at her zenith. Keren Ann’s indie-soundtrack ditties are more grounded and rootsy than, say, Emilie Simon’s, and they’re certainly more exciting than labelmate Norah Jones’ sleepy-time lullabies, but Keren Ann is still too often in danger of getting lost against the wallpaper.
- Release Date
- May 4, 2007
- Metro Blue
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