Album: Kate & Anna McGarrigle

La Vache Qui Pleure, MUNICH
Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Springtime 2005, and the Wainwrights are thick on the ground, vying for the folk-rock dollar. Rufus and Martha and their estranged dad, Loudon, have all released albums within the last six weeks, and now it's mom Kate's and aunt Anna's turn, with this intermittently engaging collection of French-language songs, mostly written or co-written by Kate. Presumably named in opposition to the synthetic connotations of the French processed cheese, La Vache Qui Pleure (Crying Cow) features folksy arrangements of Acadian fiddles, accordions and banjos, with the sisters' harmonies adding an Enya-esque gossamer quality to tracks such as "Petite Annonce Amoureuse" and "Sunflower (Ah Tournesol)", where the swelling and subsiding of the backing instruments is like the lapping of an ocean on a distant beach. There's a keen awareness of the plight of powerless outsiders, be they the homesick refugee of "Ce Matin", the natives of Michel Rivard's "La Complainte du Phoque en Alaska", lamenting the way their youngsters le

Springtime 2005, and the Wainwrights are thick on the ground, vying for the folk-rock dollar. Rufus and Martha and their estranged dad, Loudon, have all released albums within the last six weeks, and now it's mom Kate's and aunt Anna's turn, with this intermittently engaging collection of French-language songs, mostly written or co-written by Kate. Presumably named in opposition to the synthetic connotations of the French processed cheese, La Vache Qui Pleure (Crying Cow) features folksy arrangements of Acadian fiddles, accordions and banjos, with the sisters' harmonies adding an Enya-esque gossamer quality to tracks such as "Petite Annonce Amoureuse" and "Sunflower (Ah Tournesol)", where the swelling and subsiding of the backing instruments is like the lapping of an ocean on a distant beach. There's a keen awareness of the plight of powerless outsiders, be they the homesick refugee of "Ce Matin", the natives of Michel Rivard's "La Complainte du Phoque en Alaska", lamenting the way their youngsters leave for the US, or the cow of the title-track, weeping for her lost calf. Most quirkily enjoyable is the reading of Malvina Reynolds' folk standard "Little Boxes (Petites Boites)", rendered as a lolloping cajun waltz of fiddle, accordion and guitars.

Comments