Laura Veirs

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )

Laura Veirs (1999), 5/10
The Triumphs and Travails of Orphan Mae (2001), 6/10
Troubled by the Fire (2003), 6/10
Carbon Glacie (2004), 6.5/10
Year of Meteors (2005), 6.5/10
Saltbreakers (2007), 6/10
Judy Flame (2009), 5.5/10
Warp & Weft (2013), 5/10

Seattle-based (but Colorado-raised) singer-songwriter Laura Veirs matured through a series of simple but profound collections of rural folk tales: the live Laura Veirs (1999), The Triumphs and Travails of Orphan Mae (2001 - Kill Rock Stars, 2006), and Troubled by the Fire (2003).

Carbon Glacie (Bella Union, 2004), with Ether Sings, upped the ante of her art, particularly of how she delivered and accompanied her vivid, impressionistic lyrics. Year of Meteors (Nonesuch, 2005), featuring a real band, the Tortured Souls (Steve Moore on keyboards, Karl Blau on guitars, Tucker Martine on percussion, Eyvind Kang on viola), upped the ante of her arrangements (Galaxies, Where Gravity Is Dead, Spelunking).

Saltbreakers (Nonesuch, 2007), which also became the new name for the Tortured Souls, lacked the cohesive maturity of its predecessor and invested too much in Veirs' lyrics (like the vast majority of songwriters, she was not exactly William Shakespeare, although she could have been a better poet than musician). Thus Phantom Mountain and Don't Lose Yourself (the band efforts) sound unnatural and unconvincing, although they may win her a broader audience. Ocean Night Song and To The Country come closer to matching the lyrics with gusto. As evident in the opener, Pink Light, here the touch of the producer is not just a detail; or, better, the "details" are the music.

Musically speaking, the progress on Judy Flame (2009) was really the progress of her usual producer Tucker Martine, who discreetly choreographed an arsenal of instruments (even synths) to her sonic canvas. Veirs' song per se hardly change from album to album, although a few stand out (Little Deschutes, Summer Is the Champion) as magical evocations of magical moments.

Warp & Weft (2013) contains the jazzy White Cherry and the usual parade of charming harmless narratives.

Neko Case, KD Lang and Laura Veirs collaborated on the mediocre Case/Lang/Veirs (2016) that contains Veirs' Best Kept Secret and Song for Judee.

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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