Krista Detor might well be one of America's best-kept secrets. This album, with its recurring theme of water, brings out gem after gem, using popular culture as a metaphor ("Marlene in a Movie") and also an examination of America ("Pretty Horses Run" and "Robert Johnson Has Left Mississippi," which might be the best Springsteen song Springsteen never wrote). She's not just an exceptional lyricist, but understands how to fit those words to some excellent, memorable melodies (yes, this is an intelligent pop album), but her voice is just perfect for the emotions she puts across. But there's more to her than that; "The World Is Water" could easily be an Irish folk song, a simple melody that couldn't fit any other way. There are shades of other female singer/songwriters in her work, such as Joni Mitchell and Jane Siberry, but she's completely her own woman. The title track is a trip through awkward memory. Dobro, banjo, harmonica, and mandolin (as well as brass on some tracks) keep this album very much anchored in America, albeit a mythical America at times, and when she ventures abroad (after a fashion) on "Dinner with Chantel," it's in the footsteps of Cole Porter. There's ample romance, both explicit and implicit, and a healthy dose of the mystical, before ending things with "Lay Him Down," a very gospel-ish duet with Carrie Newcomer. This album is enough to establish Detor as one of the best, and nothing less.
AllMusic Review by Chris Nickson
feat: Carrie Newcomer