Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tiny Vipers Take it Slow. Really, Really slow.

By Evan Rytlewski
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As part of my resolution to be better about calling out overrated albums, let me offer this succinct consumer warning about the new Tiny Vipers album: Do not buy the new Tiny Vipers album.

At least not unless you know what your in for. Tiny Viper's Life on Earth, the sophomore offering from Sub Pop singer-songwriter Jesy Fortino, is so quiet it makes Jana Hunter sound like AC/DC. It could have been recorded in a library, without even the most law-and-order, "keep it down" librarian noticing, and especially in its miserable final half, it can be hushed to the point of sometimes being almost inaudible, with Fortino not so much finger-picking guitar strings as finger-ever-so-gently-brushing-up-against-them. The oppressive, reverby production can be louder than the actual music.

So what's buried beneath all that mysterious quiet? Well, not much. Life on Earth is all ambiance, no songs. Don't let Fortino's Neil Young's vocal ticks fool you into thinking she shares Young's songwriting craft. Her voice is, like the record as a whole, all artifice.

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