Mia Doi Todd

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
The Ewe And The Eye (1997), 5/10
Come Out Of Your Mine (1999), 6/10
Zeroone (2001), 6.5/10
The Golden State (2002), 4/10
Manzanita (2005), 5/10
Gea (2008), 6.5/10
Cosmic Ocean Ship (2011) , 5/10

(Clicka qua per la versione Italiana)

Mia Doi Todd debuted with the solo acoustic albums The Ewe And The Eye (Xmas, 1997), that included the original version of Autumn, and Come Out Of Your Mine (Communion, 1999), two collections that mimicked the style of the lo-fi singer-songwriters of the time, although the latter already contained The River & the Ocean that hinted at her philosophical concerns and progressive dynamics. Independence Day and Hijikata first appeared on the latter album.

Relocating to her native Los Angeles, she crafted another mostly acoustic album, Zeroone (City Zen, 2001), a much more ambitious work that included lengthy and cryptic meditations such as Digital and Can I, besides the shorter but no less intense Merry Me, Like a Knife, and Poppy Fields, that evoked at the same time Nico, Joni Mitchell, Jane Siberry and Shannon Wright.

She re-recorded some of her old songs for her brief fling with stardom, the hyper-arranged The Golden State (Sony, 2002).

Manzanita (Plug Research, 2005) returned her to a more congenial spartan setting (the lengthy and articulate The Last Night of Winter, Muscle Bone and Blood), despite a few attempts at sounding fashionable.

Todd embraced much more, including electronics and jazz, for Gea (City Zen, 2008). The lively and blunt Can I Borrow You, the Slavic-style lament In The End, the jazzy noir Kokoro represent a significant variant of Joni Mitchell's meditational and confessional archetypes. The stately catchy melancholy of Sleepless Nights stands out, and is contrasted by the desolate neoclassical nostalgia of Night Of A Thousand Kisses, one the emotional zenith and the other the emotional nadir of the album. The eleven-minute suite River of Life/The Yes Song appears to be a simple country shuffle a` la John Denver but soon the repetitive arrangement reveals a more profound and somewhat sinister element in it, and the quasi-psychedelic coda only enhances that feeling. The calm instrumental Wolf Reprise seems to bring peace to her tortured soul, and Old World New World weaves a hypnotic structure around a simple John Fahey-ian guitar theme and a raga-like drone.

Cosmic Ocean Ship (2011) marked an ill-advised turn towards Latin American music.

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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