lifeblood: listlogs: 2009-021


date:    wed, 1 apr 2009 10:34:53 +1100
from:    sherlyn koo <>
subject: review from uw badger herald

hey folks,

here's a nice review of the new album, from the uw badger herald in madison

you can read it online at


---begin forwarded article---
bringing it back with 'bitter bug'
indigo girls' independent release works to highlight decades of experience,

by samantha stepp
sunday, march 29, 2009 19:39

with 22 years of experience under their belts, one would expect the indigo
girls' new album poseidon and the bitter bug to reflect the group's
experience in musical quality and eloquent lyrics. and the notoriously
diametric duo has once again impressed and lived up to every expectation.
their style remains marked by the contrast between their styles: the
rough-hewn energy that characterizes amy ray's music is counter-balanced by
emily saliers' gentle folk presence.

the tone of the album begins with the understated vigor of tracks like
"sugar tongue" and "driver education," then gradually slopes off into the
more serene (yet purpose-driven) contentment of "ghost of the gang" and
"true romantic." every single song on the album is pleasing in its own
right. although the songs themselves stem from two distinct music genres,
they have the unique quality of drawing listeners from all across the
board. like a cup of hot cocoa or a warm summer night on the front lawn,
the indigo girls' sound is comforting, and there is something about it most
people just can't say no to. differences be damned: the thrasher's wild
streak shall be tamed, the pop queen's soul shall be stirred from its
material grave.

poseidon and the bitter bug was released under the independent label ig
records. the girls' insistence on non-commercialism proves they really
aren't in it for the money. "it hasn't felt worth it for a long time.
beyond that, it never fed my soul the way an independent career can," said
ray in a statement about being on a major record label, sealing this

poseidon and the bitter bug represents one of those rare cases in which the
spirit and central message come through stronger than the music itself.
both ray and saliers are strong-minded individuals with something to say;
the real genius of their music is reflected in their lyrics. the album
includes a second disc with acoustic versions of all of the songs from the
first disc, as well as a bonus track, "salty south." the purity of the
unplugged tracks brings prominence to the girls' voices and highlights the
words of the songs. the words entreat listeners to hear and understand.
"let me tell you something about my life," runs the first line of the live
version "closer to fine." the song "digging for your dream" tells about the
struggles of everyday working-class citizens, saying "you take your
prospects/ and your pickax/ and your drugs down to the street."

that's not to say that musical quality is sacrificed. the duo proves this
through their gorgeous harmonizing in "fleet of hope" and "love of our
lives." the latter is a perfect model of the two-tiered structure the
entire album is built upon: pleasing sounds conveying a strong message.

so what is the central message of poseidon and the bitter bug, exactly?
they state it well in "love of our lives" -- a song directed at anyone who
has a love affair with a dream. on a personal level, it could refer to the
new album itself, and what it means for the girls. in any case, the chorus
rings out bright and strong: "we've been staring down the brilliant dream/
the sun burns our eyes/ we've been fighting for the love of our lives." we
hear you, girls.

4 stars out of 5.

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