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A Straight-Up Masterpiece

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Wednesday April 04, 2018

from fRoots Mag

A Sampling of Reviews from the Current Issue

Ah, ‘the difficult third album’. We all know how that story’s supposed to go, right? It’s taken Anna & Elizabeth six years (and the 550 miles between Cedar Springs, Virginia and New York City) to get here, but this sounds like the place they’ve been headed toward the whole time.

Anna’s enthusiastic integration into New York’s experimental and improvised music community has clearly been a liberating experience. Always a highly accomplished musician, here she and co-producer Benjamin Lazar Davis subtly wreathe the songs in lovingly-crafted and surprising soundscapes. Elizabeth’s still that extraordinary traditional singer who first bedazzled us with Rain And Snow back in 2004, but her willingness to explore these old song texts within a new, contemporary context has resulted in performances in which she sounds somehow even more authentically connected to her material. This time it’s personal.

The Invisible Comes to Us is an album of traditional songs on which each track offers the listener something uniquely satisfying – from “Black Eyed Susan“’s minimalism to “Ripest Of Apples“’ more conventional rock structure and from “Irish Patriot“’s jazz saxophone textures to “Virginia Rambler“’s fractured drumming. The bowed drones behind “Farewell To Erin” are reminiscent of “Lankum” (another acknowledged influence) while “Woman Is Walking” is just a lovely high and lonesome thing. “By The Shore” is a piece of storytelling with overlapping spoken word and sung passages that is strange, hypnotic and beautiful.

It turns out this isn’t ‘the difficult third album’ at all. It’s a straight-up masterpiece.

Read the rest of the reviews here