Mia Doi Todd


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After Come Out of Your Mine landed on many critics' Top Ten lists for the year 1999, Mia Doi Todd's follow-up was the subject of a minor indie-label bidding war. Apparently unsatisfied with all offers, she formed her own label and decided to release the album herself. While deciding to go it alone was a gutsy move, Zeroone is in many ways a rehashing of her previous album, with many of the same strengths and weaknesses. The album begins with the pretentious, art-school philosophizing of "Digital" with its wordy refrain, "digital binary system, ones and zeros, dark versus light...." Burdened by such overwrought lyrical baggage, Todd's operatic voice can get irritating. Such is the case on the almost intolerable "Ziggurat." The situation is not helped much by the sparse instrumentation -- simply voice and acoustic guitar throughout -- and the lengthy running time of nearly every song. Todd doesn't allow herself any buffer zone or safety net, which means that when she does pull it off the results can be, in turn, beautiful or harrowing such as the nearly ten-minute epic "Can I?" The song is easily one of her best and almost worth the price of admission alone.

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