Saturday, August 20, 2011

Alela Diane Knows To Be Still

Another day, another folk artist. Today's featured artist is Alela Diane and her followup to 2006's The Pirates Gospel, To Be Still. Rooted in folk and Americana To Be Still is a folksy homely sort of record that sounds something like a more rustic Cat Power. With banjos, gently plucked guitars, and songs that sound as if they were lifted from the Civil War, Alela Diane creates a haunting atmosphere of centuries gone by.

Much of To Be Still sounds like this and very rarely do things sound or even hint at being modern. It's fascinating stuff but it wears out it's welcome after a while, primarily because so many of the songs on To Be Still sound and feel so similar. It's as if they're each a variation on a theme as opposed to their own entity and personality. While I enjoy the rustic and dusty atmosphere that To Be Still creates, it just becomes boring after about 25 minutes.

If you love songs from the American songbook that's long since been rewritten, you'll fall in love with Alela Diane's To Be Still. For those of you who are after something a bit more modern you'll struggle to get your ears around this release.

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