Liz Janes
Say Goodbye


4.5
superb

Review

by Irving Tan STAFF
January 20th, 2011 | 30 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A tincture, a fracture, a mixture; a master.

It all happens without much fanfare: Liz Janes sets her deconstructivist take on public domain songs firmly within the trunk of her beaten-up Cadillac, spares a quick wave farewell to Create (!), and then hurtles away into the heart of the nearest tall and open scrubland. As night falls, she scuttles along like a swashed crab on a shoreline, constantly performing mankind's impersonation of an erstwhile chameleon's bravado and hoping that this - her attempted gambit - works. As the world rolls away beneath the night, her heartfelt prayer for another auditory success is faintly but clearly heard above the onrushing din; who would have guessed that the gods would be listening so intently?

Without digging through the trenches of calculus and advanced physics, it is extremely strange to note how the fourth dimension is occasionally able to pervade certain records; some albums - like Van Morrison's Astral Weeks - give off the sensation that there were only six hours in the entire universe for it to be recorded in. Then there are those like Say Goodbye, which suggest that there is never a need for hurry, and that the temporal date d'echeances is nothing more than an otherworldly illusion. It is within this tinseled construct that Say Goodbye attempts to connect to our inner chi; Janes' fourth studio effort is heartbreakingly hopeful, and it is a work which begs - nay, yearns - to be listened to again and again. Album opener "I Don't Believe" is a buttery horn-backed passage, rife with repeated instances of Janes' soothing and strangely longing vocals; this stunning opening salvo is quickly followed-up by "Tincture 1"'s dreamy, harp-like trappings, which in turn pander into the quiet depths of "Bitty Thing". Janes' attempt to make her record as human as possible does not go unnoticed. The questioning melancholy that pervades the album is not only impossible to ignore, but also lush and delightful; the prospect of a devastating explosion of aqueous greenery has never been more welcome.

But perhaps the most remarkable thing about the whole record is how it successfully evades the unfortunate pitfall of pretentiousness; Janes' trained hands skillfully navigate her moorland soundscape, roiling from dream to dream like a slumbering patient comfortably etherized upon a table. In fact, only once does Janes betray her hand; at the end of our forty minute adventure, it eventually transpires that the whisperings of the final track will be our sole glimpse into her soul. In a great burst of cathartic release she reveals that, "Time and space are constructs of grace/That keep us in our sanity". As Janes concludes this surprisingly bionic thesis of hers, it is exceedingly hard to not let out an inward sigh; never has bliss weighed so heavily upon the soul.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 20th 2011


7276 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

It took me a while, but I'm finally here - review #30 is up next!

Also, it surprised me that I had to create the band page for Liz Janes - I really think that many of you Sputpeeps will like her music. I've never rec-ed something to the Sputnik community at large before, so let this be my first attempt at it:

http://lizjanes.bandcamp.com/album/say-goodbye

I hereby command you to go forth and multiply.

Digging: U2 - Songs of Innocence

Xenophanes
Emeritus
January 20th 2011


10594 Comments


Review is beautiful.

This is a really cool album, I'm really glad you've informed me of it. I rated it (prematurely, I might add) so that maybe this will catch one. It's super chill, and she has a really smooth voice. Good shit right here.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 20th 2011


7276 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks Xeno =) I admit I was worried that it might come across as being a bit too pretentious though - hence the word-drop in the last paragraph lol (just to flag my awareness of it).

Also -

Awww come on Cheno - you know a 3.5 is waaay too low =)

JustJoe
January 20th 2011


1399 Comments


Congratulations on your 30th, Irving! One of these days, I'll have to give this album a listen or twelve.

Digging: Lantlos - Melting Sun

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 20th 2011


7276 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Not yet Joe! The next one will be my 30th! And the review will be BOSS (I hope it will be, at least).

Make sure you catch it! ;) + =)

JustJoe
January 20th 2011


1399 Comments


See... what had happened was... I saw into the future, and... you know... I'm excited.

Oh, and not to shamelessly promote my own reviews (except that's exactly what I mean to do), I recently finished my 5th. Give it the once over one of these days, will you? I value your input.

=]

Tyrael
January 20th 2011


20876 Comments


Yes an irving review! Well worth the wait man, this is a beauty... Pos.

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
January 20th 2011


15981 Comments


dammit of course this review came out while i was gone. pos' though

Digging: Maybeshewill - Fair Youth

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 20th 2011


7276 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks Sowing and Tyraelxy; much appreciated as always.

I was also wondering (I mentioned this to Chenophanes too) - does the review come off as sounding forced, contrived, and/or too pretentious?

Thanks! =)

conradtao
Emeritus
January 20th 2011


2090 Comments


To answer your above question: no, it really doesn't. It comes across as very well written! =]

Tyrael
January 20th 2011


20876 Comments


No Irving, I think there is a nice natural flow in your review.

AggravatedYeti
January 20th 2011


7685 Comments


worry less about sounding pretentious or overwrought and focus more on making sure it's well structured, the facts are correct (if any) and no over abundance of a single descriptor/phrase and 9 times out of 10 you'll be fine.

review was quite good Irving--makes me want to check out this album from an artist I was never too excited about.
nice work : )

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 20th 2011


7276 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Okay then - thanks for the input + advice + compliments guys! It was much appreciated =)

Out of curiosity - Yeti, why did you not like her previous stuff all that much?

AggravatedYeti
January 20th 2011


7685 Comments


her other 2 records never did much of anything for me.

much like her buddy Sufjan I would never say he makes bad albums they just don't move me as effectively as they do other people.

I also haven't paid much attention to her in years so things could be different now.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 20th 2011


7276 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

That's fair; and judging by the other ratings that this album has received, it may yet transpire that I may have been a tad overexcited by this release. LOL. Good thing Xenophanes and Tyraelxy are at hand to mediate my enthusiasm!

Finally - Yeti, you need to do a review. Just saying ;)



AggravatedYeti
January 20th 2011


7685 Comments


a review of what? this?

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 20th 2011


7276 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Of anything! It's been awhile since you last penned! (if I remember correctly, that is)

AggravatedYeti
January 20th 2011


7685 Comments


I don't post much on sputnik anymore, no.
but in the next few days though...


Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 20th 2011


7276 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

EXCELLENT =)

pizzamachine
January 20th 2011


12571 Comments


Oops, I missed this review. Nice poetry Irving, it's a bit mystical but that's alright.



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