In this, her third album, Amy LaVere has fashioned a masterpiece. The title reveals the song-cycle’s theme, brilliantly realized by Ms. LaVere’s finely honed song-writing skills and fragile vocal interpretations. Luther Dickinson’s production is flawless and fits her perfectly. The album also features some well-chosen songs penned by others: “How?” (John Lennon), “Where I Lead Me” (Townes Van Zandt), and a grand old balled from the 1950’s, “Dark Moon” (made famous by Gale Storm).
The opening cut, “Rabbit”, is an absolute stand-out and tells you immediately that this CD is something special. A guitar driven, exquisitely produced number, it is a tale about running away from home as an adolescent, in which she plaintively yearns for a train home, singing “I’m too lost, I see ghosts”. “Snowflake” may be the heart of the album, a haunting bare-bones ballad with the refrain: “I can raise myself / I can surely scold me / I can school myself / I can fuckin’ ruin me.” “Big Sister”, with its full and captivating production, is especially memorable. It is a song about the big sister who gets everything, being daddy’s girl, while she, the younger sister, knows “I was the one who should have been daddy’s son.”
I have listened to this album many times, and it grows in stature with each listening. If it isn’t already the best new release of 2014, it will take something otherworldly to better it!
– Robert Myers