Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Indigo Girls' latest

Normally, I listen to an Indigo Girls album about 18 hours after its release. This time, life has intervened, and it took me a few months, but I finally got to Despite Our Differences today.

I'll tell you what: although I've only listened to it once, Emily Saliers' "Lay My Head Down" is up there with anything she's ever written...which is saying something. She's every bit the poet she's ever been. But sometime, while I wasn't looking, Amy Ray caught up to her as a songwriter. "Little Perennials" and "They Won't Have Me" are damn fine songs.

I felt like the Indigoes got overtly preachy in the mid-to-late '90s. I can't get through all of Shaming of the Sun, for instance. But now they have found a much better (for me) way of getting their points, including their political points, across. Or maybe this album, which is, after all, called Despite our Differences, just has a message that I can handle a little better. The way that Amy can paint a sweet, heart-wrenching portrait of failing farmers in "They Won't Have Me," even while admitting those same farmers would reject her because she's gay, is beautiful on multiple levels.

This one goes into heavy rotation on the new Ipod.

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