The JangleBox

Indie, Noise, Shoegaze… Music

Kate Pierson: Guitars and Microphones (Kobalt / Lazy Meadow, 2015)

Seguro que eres súper fan de B-52´s. Seguro que te acuerdas de sus dos exuberantes cantantes. Pues la chica pelirroja editó el año pasado, a sus 66 añazos (más o menos la edad de Karina), el que es su álbum de debut, un trabajo que tenía planeado para hace una década pero que apareció en 2015.
Lo que es cierto es que si tienes interés en rastrear vestigios del pasado en este Guitars and Microphones, mejor repasas la discografía de su banda, porque este disco es algo errático. Algunos momentos de lucidez, pero en su mayor parte, temas que no pasarían la criba de una escucha más o menos crítica (Throw down the roses, Mister Sister, Guitars and microphonesBring your arms…). Kate Pierson se ha rodeado de colaboradores como Sia o Nick Valensi para dar forma a este álbum que, con todo, es un buen entretenimiento.

“If you spend your time with Guitars and Microphones hunting for some sonic signature on Sia’s part, you won’t find it; she’s more of a complementary piece than a heavy-handed force when writing for others, and that holds true for her work with Pierson. She excels at amplifying an artist’s best traits, whether that means highlighting their areas of musical skill or connecting with them to help craft a particularly resonant piece of lyric. That’s what she does with Pierson throughout the record: The two of them understand that her greatest strength is her voice, and they push it to the forefront of every song. Pierson hasn’t lost any of the force or heat that’s characterized her vocal work for 40 years; if anything, she’s acquired the ability to enrich otherwise pedestrian line readings with a resonance that feels born of a life well lived. When she guns for high, loud notes in climactic moments, like on the dreamy “Crush Me With Your Love”, you can feel it burning in the pit of your stomach. That passion only intensifies when Pierson is singing about something that’s obviously important to her, be it her relationship with partner Monica Coleman (“Crush Me With Your Love”, “Wolves”) or questions of independence and feminism (opener “Throw Down the Roses”). The intensity is welcome, because it brightens up arrangements that split the difference between two very familiar brands of recent rock music: the Shins’ luminous, buoyant pop-rock, and the Strokes’ sharper, more tonally distinct work. The familiarity of the sounds is comforting, but fleeting. The only thing you remember after finishing a song is Pierson’s voice.
There’s only one real misstep on Guitars and Microphones, but it’s a big one, revolving around the concept and reception of lead single “Mister Sister”. To hear Pierson tell it, it’s a chugging would-be anthem for anyone who’s ever felt that what’s inside of them isn’t being adequately reflected by what they see in the mirror, something that’s not specific to ideas about gender identity or sexuality or anything especially technical. But in giving a quote tothe Huffington Post, she used the phrase, “I hope it becomes a trans anthem,” a well-meaning but bold statement that seemed especially tone deaf given the song’s campier and more stereotypical elements. (If you’re interested in a more detailed analysis of why a potential Pierson attempt at a “trans anthem” would be inappropriate, this Bustle article is worthwhile.)
It was an unfortunate situation stemming from a miscommunication, and a great example of the misunderstandings and hurt that can flare up between even members of two different wings of the broader LGBT community. Pierson was quick to apologize, and has appeared eager to learn in interviews conducted since. But unintentional offence aside, “Mister Sister” still feels like a relic from a different time; it aims for that aforementioned compassionate, quirky B-52s queerness, but falls short and ends up cheap and cloying. On a purely musical level, it lacks the melodic firepower and passion that colors the best of Guitars and Microphones, with blocky riffs and a Pierson performance that skews a little campy but fails to engage the listener. Most importantly, it’s an outlier on a record that manages to feel impressive, contemporary and vital with most of its other songs” (Pitchfork)

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9 febrero, 2016 Posted by | Kate Pierson | Deja un comentario

   

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