Ana Egge

Bad Blood

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Singer/songwriter Ana Egge devotes the songs on her seventh album, Bad Blood, to examinations of mental illness, which may explain why the characters in them (including, on occasion, "I") seem to be in their own worlds, sometimes worlds that trace dream landscapes ("Driving with No Hands"), sometimes ones that lead to violence or courtrooms, or even just to the road. There is a disconnection between actions and consequences, and a poetic romanticism in which Egge finds it possible to sing, in "Evil," of "evil, simple as a rose." She is aided and abetted by producer Steve Earle, who chimes in occasionally on vocal harmonies and provides country-folk and folk-rock settings for the songs she sings in her deceptively soothing, burnished alto. Eleanor Whitmore provides the musical color, soloing on bouzouki, fiddle, tenor guitar, mandolin, and viola. Bad Blood is an album of attractive surfaces through which can be seen deeper, darker interiors that are suggested, and sometimes spelled out, in Egge's evocative words and Earle's stinging production.

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