lifeblood: songs: backgrounds: blame is a killer

2008-07-21: music review: amy ray - didn't it feel kinder, blogcritics magazine:

amy ray has been through a lot of changes over the past couple of years. her musical partnership with emily saliers, the indigo girls, finished out their contract with epic records, and then signed with hollywood records. the album they released, despite our differences, was well-received by their dedicated fan base and critics alike, but despite the apparent success, the band and label parted ways earlier this year.

in the midst of all this, ray wrote and recorded her third solo studio album, didn't it feel kinder. unlike the previous two albums, this is not a collection of strident rock-with-punk-attitude songs mixed in with poppier dance-rock anthems. rather, this album signals a shift to a more introspective ray, focusing on mellower arrangements with only a few hints of her earlier style (such as the lead single, "blame is a killer").

fans will likely be surprised upon first listen - i know i was - but there were signs of this new amy ray on despite our differences ("three county highway" and "dirt and dead ends" come to mind). keep on listening, because eventually this new sound will become as familiar as the old one.


2008-10-30: amy ray of indigo girls does own thing in solo tour, the pittsburgh tribune-review:

ray credits producer greg griffith for helping shape the tenor of the record, which is the polar opposite of the harmony-laden folk of her regular gig.

"the indigo girls has a certain magical quality," ray says. "it's otherworldly, is what it is. it's all about duality, and with emily you always hear the other voice."

which is almost the opposite of ray's almost militant individualism on "don't it feel kinder." she admits that making the record was a release from some of the conventions that inform the indigo girls' work. take "blame is a killer," which sounds as if the band x invited keith richards of the rolling stones to a session at the whiskey a-go go in los angeles. or the trippy opener, "birds of a feather," a song that ray admits was "musically, a big question mark" until guitarist tomi martin found the right tone.

"he is a really masterful player," says ray, noting she "didn't even know what he was thinking about when we gave him the song. but what he came up with was all about the song, very pink floyd, jimi hendrix."


2008-11-04: indigo girl brings solo tour to burlington, the burlington free press:

bfp: your new album is definitely a rock album, especially the songs "bus bus" and "blame is a killer." can being in a long-running, successful group like indigo girls be an albatross, where you're expected to be in a folk-rock box that you can't break out of?

ar: we (indigo girls) do quite a lot of electric stuff and when we tour with a band we play a lot of electric, but it's within the context of acoustic music and i think it's acceptable. i do know a lot of this (solo) music doesn't appeal to a lot of our audience. but i don't consider the indigo girls an albatross where i can't create what i want to. emily doesn't have any boundaries and i can do what i want creatively, but i also know we have certain strong points and i like to write to them. harmony is a really strong thing we do and we can approach it in different ways but it's still the heart and soul of what we do. and i really love acoustic music. when i play with indigo girls i want to play acoustic music, folk, stripped down and raw.


2009-01-22: this girl's gone solo, the riverside press-enterprise:

"there's a certain musicality to the record," ray said.

she said she stretched her vocal work with the album, apparent with a wider range of vocals for ray. she also wasn't afraid to rerecord the vocal tracks.

"i would sing it until i got it exactly the way i liked it," ray said.

the results are heard on the album, with the funky song "bus bus" and the rocker "blame is a killer."

ray is dedicated to writing. she writes for three or four hours each day in her journal from four to five days each week, "wherever i am," she said.

then she'll go through the journal and mark things with post-it notes and play a few things on the guitar.

"sometimes things marry each other," she said.

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