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cyberinsekt

Laurie Anderson - Sad Lady

Connie Converse left few traces on the world. Before her disappearance in the 1970s she was a struggling singer-songwriter, too left field for anything even remotely resembling success. She had an aristocratic voice that did little to disguise the wretched suffering in her outsider country songs, and there was never anyone like her before or since. You owe it to yourself to check out some of her music.

And I wish I could say that the 2017 compilation Vanity of Vanities - A Tribute to Connie Converse does her justice, but it really doesn't. It features many of the most respected names in American experimental music, almost all of whom seem to entirely miss the target. It's not as bad as Soupsongs Live, but at times it's a close run thing.

But I'm happy to say that Laurie Anderson's contribution is nothing short of stunning. Have you ever seen Lynne Ramsay's film of We Have To Talk About Kevin? She uses sound like no-one else, filling the air with the sound of heavy machinery and traffic to show the way Tilda Swinton's character copes with her pain by driving it out of her head, filling it instead with inescapable noise. It's desperate and heart-rending. Anderson does a parallel manouvre with Sad Lady, starting with close-miked vocals but being unable to cope. The electronic accompaniment is too intimate, it grows and swells to fill the available space, anything to avoid the awful story that the song tells. If the rest of the album was even half as good as this, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.

Laurie Anderson - Sad Lady
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