Like Lambchop's Kurt Wagner - who duets on one track here - Nashville native Cortney Tidwell defies the standard geographical-musical imperatives by sounding nothing like the average country diva. Instead, most of her influences seem to be European: there's something of the fragile eccentricity of Stina Nordenstam in "I Do Not Notice", while "Missing Link" combines the assertive stridency of Sinead O'Connor with the gothick burring organ and the foregrounded bassline of Joy Division. And when the stately progress of "Eyes Are at the Billions" suddenly swells and climaxes in a sustained, billowing blur of guitar and keyboard noise, it's impossible not to be reminded of My Bloody Valentine. The closest Tidwell comes to the standard Nashville sound is the subdued glint of pedal steel guitar in "Pictures on the Sidewalk" - but nobody else in Nashville would shift shape and tempo as much as she does in this song, and still expect to retain the listener's attention. Lyrically, her most arresting piece here is the title track, involving a literally star-crossed romance between human and alien, set to a suitably spooky but compassionate organ.
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