Disc one : 1/ Something's Got Me (Carson) 5.30 2/ Make a Little Luck (Carson) 4.17 3/ Black Thumb (Carson) 4.54 4/ Snow Come Down (Carson) 4.34 5/ Whole Heart (Carson) 5.28 6/ Fade (Carson) 4.38 7/ Souvenir (Carson,Chandler) 4.26 8/ Train (Carson) 5.14 9/ Greener (Carson) 3.20 10/ I Saw the Light (Rundgren) 3.50 11/ Something's Got Me (original) (Carson) 5.00 Disc two : Remixes 1/ Something's Got Me (Carson) 6.15 (Curse of the Voodoo Swamp Mix Ext. Vers.) Remix by Philip Steir 2/ Something's Got Me (Carson) 5.32 (Think Slick Mix) Remix by Anton Fier 3/ I Saw the Light (Rundgren) 4.05 (Homegrown Fantasy Mix) Remix by Anton Fier 4/ Something's Got Me (Carson) 6.16 (Instant Drip Hop Mix) Remix by Philip Steir Recorded at Lori's apartment on Sixth Avenue in New York City Additional recording at Power Station, New York, Greenpoint Studio, Brooklyn, New York and the Knitting Factory, New York City Produced by Lori Carson Tracks 3 and 7 produced by Lori Carson and Anton Fier Additional production and remixes on tracks 1 and 8 by Anton FierDisc one:
Lori Carson: vocals, acoustic guitar, background vocals; Brian Gocher (1,2,4): programming; Anton Fier (1,2,4): programming; Bill Laswell (1,2,4): bass; Chris Cunningham (1,2,4): sarod, ebow, guitar; Steve Bernstein (1,2,4): trumpet; Lydia Kavanagh (1,2,4): backround vocals; Knox Chandler (3): bass, ambient guitar; Beth Sorentino (3): harmony vocal.
String arrangement on disc one, track 6 by Jane Scarpantoni
1997 - Restless (USA), 7-72923-2 (2CD)
John Chedsey (courtesy of Satan Stole My Teddybear website.)
Both as a solo artist and as part of Californian [Fier is New York based by way of Cleveland -- SW] roots pop outfit Golden Palominos, Lori Carson has thus far rode in that murky undertow of receiving some critical, but little popular, acclaim. That might be because Carson also falls into both the sub-Amos and downer-core-whiny-chick genres. With a soft, fulsome voice of gorgeous clarity, Carson SOUNDS promising; however, on her third solo album, evocatively titled "Everything I Touch Tuns Wild", that voice remains on the same sonic level, just as the songs never leave a slow, to slightly less slow, tempo. Joined by such musical luminaries as bass player/producer Bill Laswell, Lounge Lizard's Steven Bernstein on trumpet, and Golden Palominos' singer Lydia Kavanagh, Carson's introspective songwriting is filled out - never fluffed up! - but the air remains spacious and languorous. "Everything I Touch Runs Wild" is a melancholic, hazy, ambient folk-pop record, both subtle and sensitive but requiring rather a lot of patience.
Linda Laban (courtesy of the Focus Magazine website)
I'm not always certain what the difference is between the Sarah McLachlan / Jewel and the Heidi Berry / Keren Ann artists of the world. Why do critics disparage the former and heap praise upon the latter? Is there really that much difference between the two styles? Is one bereft of integrity while the other overflows with artistic credibility? Or is it simply a matter of popularity? Would music snobs celebrate the entire catalog of Jewel if she'd never sold more than 50,000 copies? Would they berate Keren Ann if she earned a Grammy?
Lori Carson is the kind of artist who makes me ask these questions. On the surface, she falls squarely in the camp of the critically acclaimed and commercially under appreciated singer/songwriter. But her music is so simple and so open that there's no reason it couldn't appeal to millions of lovelorn women who are resigned to curling up in bed with a cat and a Jane Austen novel. A couple of plays on Grey's Anatomy or The OC, and something tells me that Carson would've earned as much love and mockery as Sarah McLachlan and Jewel do.
Music: 4 out of 5
The album is easy to dismiss at first, but each listen proves more rewarding than the last. At various moments, Carson's songs make me think of Heidi Berry, Keren Ann, Tanya Donelly, Nick Drake, Kristin Hersh, and even Shawn Smith. The music is simple, and at times it is so simple as to teeter on the edge of cliché. The lyrics have none of the complex poetry of Donelly or Drake, but their simplicity cannot disguise a very warm and real humanity. The only stinker is her cover of "I Saw the Light," a song that plays to the worst elements of Carson's sound. Otherwise, this is a perfect album for dark highways and lonely bedrooms.
Packaging: 3 out of 5
The design has some subtle touches, but overall there's nothing particularly special about it. It's a shame the cover looks like an outtake from a Bjork photo shoot, because it completely misrepresents the music inside. The photos are very good, but they say nothing about the mood of the album. The lyrics are included, but the musician credits are either in a miserably tiny font or I need glasses.
Listen if you like: Heidi Berry fans should definitely check this out. Her voice is occasionally similar to Tanya Donelly, but her music sounds more like Kristin Hersh. If you like Counting Crows songs like "Raining in Baltimore," you'll probably find something here that you like. And yes, Sarah McLachlan and Jewel fans might like Carson's music.
If it were food, it'd be: a cup of cocoa on a cold and lonely day.
(I think it's worth noting that, while I've bought copies of several of the CDs that I've reviewed here, this is the first time I ordered multiple albums by an artist while I was writing a review.)
taotechuck (courtesy of the Pratt Songs website)