Phoebe Legere

Blue Curtain

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Blue Curtain is a very personal project. Vocalist/pianist Phoebe Legere's touch can be felt everywhere. Her four-octave vocal range drives this continuous one-hour piece. The album opens on a Native American song but is quickly taken over by sonic mayhem, thanks to Ikue Mori on electronic percussion, Jim Staley on trombone, Todd Horton on trumpet and the occasional contribution of Steve Butters on percussion. Legere sings a long poem involving metaphysical questions, fashion and an obsession with television over an improvised setting. Her voice is overdubbed to add texture and the whole thing is anchored by rhythm loops that establish a groove for her to shape the text over (although she never indulges in rapping). The last ten minutes of the album are surprisingly tonal as Legere is left alone at the piano and sings a ballad reminiscent of a Negro spiritual. The booklet includes the entire poem, a good idea since the voice is sometimes buried in the mix (although it sounds like a deliberate choice). Blue Curtain is a charming experience and may sound at times like a less abrasive female version of PantyChrist. But it's the kind of work that can hardly be described into words: a truly artistic vision you have to hear for yourself.

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