Lisa Germano

Lullaby for Liquid Pig

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Lisa Germano's music has always had an out-of-time quality to it, but never more so than in the current musical climate, where toughness and a jaded attitude dominate almost every style of music. The almost complete lack of hardness -- both sonically and lyrically -- in Germano's work is both a blessing and a curse, perhaps limiting her audience but making an indelible impression on those she does reach. Her fans won't be disappointed by Lullaby for Liquid Pig, a concise but evocative album that sounds all the sweeter due to her long absence from the music scene. Once again, though, the strangely timeless quality to her music makes the long gap between Slide and this album irrelevant -- Lullaby for Liquid Pig is very much of a piece with the rest of her gently brave, individualistic work. While her music has never chased trends, the weightless, shimmering sound that Germano has pursued since Geek the Girl still manages to sound much fresher and more innovative than that of artists who reinvent their sound with every album. Like Geek the Girl, Lullaby for Liquid Pig is something of a concept album, revolving around addictions of all kinds, not just the alcoholism that the album's title obliquely alludes to. It's not so much the addictions themselves that Germano explores as the desires and delusions behind them, which she expresses beautifully on "Dream Glasses Off" and "From a Shell," a pair of songs that melt into each other and repeat the phrases, "someday someone is gonna love you" and "it's the buzz, it's the buzz," as desperate mantras. Whether it's love or alcohol, the album says, it's the same addiction to hoping that someone or something is going to save you from yourself. While Lullaby for Liquid Pig's subject matter is typically dark, on the whole the album is more like the bittersweet meditations on Excerpts from a Love Circus and Slide than the truly tormented-sounding Geek the Girl, although in the topsy-turvy world Germano creates here, the superficially happy-sounding songs carry more danger than the brooding ones. The weirdly loopy "Candy," with its bright and hazy textures, and "It's Party Time," which sounds like bubblegum pop that's been broken and reconfigured and alludes to the Troggs' "Love Is All Around" and Neil Diamond's "Red Red Wine," have a disturbingly woozy quality that sounds like sinking into a blissfully ignorant narcotic cocoon. Conversely, the album closes with a few dark yet oddly hopeful songs like "Into the Night" and "...To Dream" that suggest that some kind of happy ending is still within reach. Imparting its wisdom and melodies in fits and flashes, Lullaby for Liquid Pig is nevertheless one of Lisa Germano's most accessible works yet; with any luck more fans of challenging but beautiful music will catch up with her this time around.

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