11 Songs, 54 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Jolie Holland flows back and forth and in and out of genres like water trickling in a stream, from pedal steel cowgirl to smoky jazz diva, from soul and gospel devotee to indie chanteuse, all within the parameters of what we think of as the singer/songwriter tradition. She has a sensuous voice, marbled with a richness that's utterly satisfying. It pairs well here with the twangy tones of “Route 30,” the gritty textures and scraping electric guitars of “On and On,” and the primitive blues of “Out on the Wine Dark Sea.” Her music has never been particularly uplifting, and it’s a delight to hear her deliver some retro- and horn-flavored R&B on the finger-snapping “Waiting for the Sun” and some pure soul on Joe Tex’s “The Love You Save.” But much of this collection is dark in nature, crawling and slithering with slow, hissing percussion, distorted guitar atmospherics, lonely piano and violin, and even tuba. Holland takes a lot of chances on Wine Dark Sea, and she does it with admirable confidence and skill.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Jolie Holland flows back and forth and in and out of genres like water trickling in a stream, from pedal steel cowgirl to smoky jazz diva, from soul and gospel devotee to indie chanteuse, all within the parameters of what we think of as the singer/songwriter tradition. She has a sensuous voice, marbled with a richness that's utterly satisfying. It pairs well here with the twangy tones of “Route 30,” the gritty textures and scraping electric guitars of “On and On,” and the primitive blues of “Out on the Wine Dark Sea.” Her music has never been particularly uplifting, and it’s a delight to hear her deliver some retro- and horn-flavored R&B on the finger-snapping “Waiting for the Sun” and some pure soul on Joe Tex’s “The Love You Save.” But much of this collection is dark in nature, crawling and slithering with slow, hissing percussion, distorted guitar atmospherics, lonely piano and violin, and even tuba. Holland takes a lot of chances on Wine Dark Sea, and she does it with admirable confidence and skill.

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