Lisa Germano


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Name almost any under-recognized artist and someone will say that if he or she were only marketed correctly or heard by the right people, a star would be born. It's hard to imagine anyone making that claim about the under-recognized Lisa Germano, whose songs are so personal, ambiguous, and unsettling that even sympathetic listeners can find it hard to gain entry. Still, Slide is one of the more accessible albums in Germano's catalog, lacking both the harrowing sexual dramas of Geek the Girl and the overt self-loathing of Happiness. The songs here feature Germano's trademark carnival-music textures, but are both subtler and prettier than usual, which sometimes makes them even more disturbing: "No Color Here" and "Crash," both about depression, are so tender and closely observed they're nearly fetishistic. Elsewhere, Germano lets some air into her universe: the lilting "Electrified" remembers a time when "playing was everything," "Wood Floors" is a beautiful piano ballad, and "Turning Into Betty" is a darkly humorous song about the fear of turning into one's mother. Even Germano's lighter moments are disorienting, though; when she sings "I'm giving in to beauty," it sounds less like an epiphany than a potentially fatal error.

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