Eliza Gilkyson counts herself among the cadre of contemporary singer/songwriters who mix thoughtful lyrics and folk roots to create a heady combination of poetry and music. Her vocal style, a quiet whisper with a gritty edge, adds a bit of depth to her musical vision, while her revolving door of musicians on Land of Milk and Honey lays down a relaxed foundation. Gilkyson, like other musical poets in the post-9/11 world, has serious things on her mind, and it's hard to imagine that a title like Land of Milk and Honey is meant to be read straight. "Hiway 9" gives the album an ominous start, with elliptical references to the Middle East, oil, and tax dollars going to God knows where. Unlike a number of left-leaning songwriters, Gilkyson seems content to never quite spell out what she means. "Wonderland," a tryst without commitment, seems equally dark on the surface, and Gilkyson's vocal recalls Lucinda Williams' carnal confessions on Essence. The difference, though, is that "Wonderland"'s rhythm is infectious, and the band takes the song at such an upbeat pace that a tryst, while not love, is not bad. Gilkyson's fans will find Land of Milk and Honey another solid effort by one sharp and incisive writer with a distinct voice.
Land of Milk and Honey Review
by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.