Wine Dark Sea
Reviewed by: Lara Supan
Wine Dark Sea sounds like a drunk Etta James playing with a band on acid. I hope that’s what she was going for.
The first song on this album, “On and On”, illustrates Jolie Holland’s inability to pronounce words in a way people can understand. The song starts with a straight forward beat and a bit of distortion on a guitar, but overall a nice, simple beginning. By the end of the song, it sounds like the band has handed their instruments to a bunch of monkeys and gone out for a beer. It seems to be intentional, although there isn’t a need for it in this song, so it is a misplaced stylistic choice.
Believe it or not, the album gets better from there. By the sixth song on Wine Dark Sea, “The Love You Save”, you can actually understand Holland and things start to get interesting. “Saint Dymphna”, clocking in at over six minutes long, was also on the right track with simple instrumental choices and understandable, possibly even meaningful, lyrics.
Not sure if this one is worth a listen for you. If you like distortion, random noise and listening to someone chew their words so much you can’t understand a single word they’re saying than this album is for you! It is very stylized and will definitely make some people smile, just not me.