Author: Adam Gnade
10/04/2005 | Skyscraper | www.skyscrapermagazine.com
Orenda Fink's dealing with some weighty, muy detailed, damn specific stuff here. (Where her day job band Azure Ray whispers because they're hopeless sad, solo she seems like she's whispering because she's in the library researching and doesn't wanna get in trouble.) Orenda's said before that she wanted to make an entire album about the Elephant Man and "Blind Asylum," an ornate piece of baroque pop, is a solid sneak peek. "Leave It All" is about a woman who throws herself off a bridge chasing clarity. (Who hasn't been there?) "Miracle Worker" is the true story of a teenage girl in a permanent state of conscious comatose. "Animal" is about the Haitian vodou's (not voodoo) idea that man is born as an animal before being reborn a man and after death becomes a spirit they call "The Invisible." It's about the churning, grinding, recycling gears of life, and about ceremonial possession, and slave plantations and trying to understand the afterlife. The music, with its Haitian choir singers, hand shakers, standup bass, and electronics is a lot more varied (idiots will call it "weirder" than Azure Ray. It tries for more, for bigger rock songs, electro-pop, even world music. There's a lot going on, but there's also a lot of good happening. Give it a chance.
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