Album: Emmylou Harris, Hard Bargain (Nonesuch)
Sunday 24 April 2011
Sighs, incantations, epically resonant minor chords hacked on reverb-drenched guitars – it has become Harris's default sound, a sort of rotisseried art-Americana.
As you might expect, then, Hard Bargain does not have a lively feel. It is stately, rather imperious music, conveying emotion through the deployment of technical effects rather than through the revelation of a voice. Not unlike the English folk singer June Tabor, Harris now treats her voice as a theatrical device, which is all well and good if you have the material to make drama with. But I'm not sure she has.
The majority of songs here are written by Harris, and though most are freighted with sufficient wisdom to ballast the floaty Southern Gothic vibe, not one catches in the mind except as a demonstration of a self-conscious technical style.
Music Why this music festival is still the place to spot the next big thing
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
- 2 Is this bridge haunted by the ghost of nu rave?
- 3 Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Britain's first cinema flickers back to life following £6m refurbishment
A historian gave the most British look of despair when someone screwed up Richard III's birthday at his reburial
James May hints Top Gear days are over following Jeremy Clarkson's BBC exit
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
James May hints he will not continue on Top Gear without Jeremy Clarkson
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers