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Reviews: Erin Jordan & The Whiskey Romance ~ Gateway To Temptation|
Posted on Monday, February 09, 2009 @ 21:42:34 UTC
Artist: Erin Jordan and The Whiskey Romance
CD: Gateway To Temptation
Home: Seattle, Washington
Style: Gypsy Music
Quote: "These songs come out like old world folk tunes, like the soundtrack to a period piece Italian art film."
By Dan MacIntosh
Erin Jordan and The Whiskey Romance explore the darker sides of romance with the aptly titled Gateway to Temptation. Throughout this ten-song collection, you wonít hear any songs about courting, weddings, or honeymoons. Instead, there are plenty of lyrics concerning adultery, including nightclubs and alcohol, which -- of course -- pave that gateway to temptation quite nicely.
The opening song, "Black Widow," warns: "Beware of black widows and things that crawl lead your heart away." Yet for those set upon picking from that one fruit tree in the garden, that one they ought not eat from, warnings are nothing more than background noise. This group may sing out a warning, but you get the overall impression that these musicians celebrate infidelity, sometimes quite smugly, rather than fight it. In "Intoxication" they note: "Religion gets loud as the checks get small" over a driving beat and quickly strummed acoustic guitar. But this comes out like the musings of a curious social scientist, rather than a spurned Ďn burned lover. These are observations, not journal entries.
The best description for these sounds is gypsy music. There are plenty of non-rock elements, such as accordion, oboe, violin, and flugelhorn. The bass, in fact, is always the upright variety, not the low-hung amplified type. These songs come out like old world folk tunes, like the soundtrack to a period piece Italian art film.
Although Jordan has a fine voice, she often sounds a little too formal for this seemingly intentionally informal music. She comes off theatrical, where more simple vocalizing might have been far more effective. These songs could have also done with a little more sass. They would have been sexier, for example, if done by a saucy blues diva; by a bold woman who obviously knows what sheís singing about.
Conceptual black widows arenít nearly as scary as the real thing, just as sin discussion is not at all the same thing as falling headfirst into temptation. When Neil Finn of Crowded House mused, "You in your new blue dress, taking away my breath" during that bandís "Into Temptation," the listener was in the room right there with him, fighting off evil, white tooth and polished nail. But such tangible feelings never come into play with Gateway to Temptation, and thatís a shame. Great music sometimes allows you to live in a forbidden world, for three minutes or so, yet come out clean and innocent after itís all done. But Erin Jordan never fully draws us into her black widow web, which leaves us wanting more Ė for better or worse.
Artist Website: http://www.erinjordan.com
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