|Amy Ray — Lung Of Love (2012)|
Amy Ray – Lung Of Love
Birth name: Amy Elizabeth Ray
Born: April 12, 1964, Decatur in Georgia
Origin: Georgia, United States
• Born in Decatur, Georgia, Amy Ray met Emily Saliers when they both attended the same high school. They began performing together and recorded a demo in 1981. After graduation, Ray and Saliers went to different colleges with Ray attending Vanderbilt University. By 1985, both women had transferred to Emory University in Atlanta and formed the Indigo Girls. In 1986, Ray graduated from Emory with majors in English and Religion.
• In March 2001, Ray released her first solo album, Stag, a southern and punk rock album. The Butchies provided support for five songs, and Joan Jett played on "Hey Castrator". In April 2005, Ray released Prom, and in December 2006, she released Live from Knoxville. Her fourth solo album, Didn't It Feel Kinder, was released in August 2008.
• Her backup band for her Stag tour was The Butchies. In 2004, when she embarked on her Prom tour, she brought Les Nuby (guitar), Will Lochamy (drums), and Jody Bleyle (bass). Bleyle was replaced with Tara Jane O'Neil in October because Bleyle was on maternity leave.
Ray currently lives in the foothills of North Georgia.
Album release: US: 28 Feb 2012; UK: 28 Feb 2012
Record Label: Daemon Records
01 – When You’re Gone, You’re Gone 3:16
02 – Glow 1:56
03 – I Didn’t 4:06
04 – From Haiti 3:10
05 – Crying In The Wilderness 2:53
06 – Little Revolution 2:51
07 – The Rock Is My Foundation 3:14
08 – Lung Of Love 3:40
09 – Give It A Go 2:47
10 – Bird In The Hand 3:40
• Thom Canova Engineer, Keyboard Engineer, Synthesizer Engineer
• Brandi Carlile Guest Appearance, Vocals, Vocals (Background)
• Mark Chalecki Mastering
• Giovanna Clayton Cello
• A Fragile Tomorrow Guest Appearance, Vocals
• Lindsay Fuller Guest Appearance, Vocals, Vocals (Background)
• Jon Griffin Engineer
• Greg Griffith Bass, Beats, Composer, Engineer, Farfisa Organ, Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Lap Steel Guitar, Percussion, Producer, Synthesizer Bass
• Jim James Guest Appearance, Vocals
• Bobby Kelly Bass
• Dom Kelly Vocals (Background)
• Ezra Kelly Drums, Percussion
• Sean Kelly Vocals (Background)
• Scott Manring Dobro
• Heather McEntire Guest Appearance, Vocals, Vocals (Background)
• Denise Plumb Design
• Amy Ray Composer, Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Mandolin, Photography, Vocals, Vocals (Background)
• Laurie S. Ray Illustrations
• Trina Shoemaker Mixing
• Jason Staczek Vocal Engineer
• Kaia Wilson Guitar (Electric), Vocals, Vocals (Background)
• Julie Wolf Farfisa Organ, Fender Rhodes, Piano, Vocals (Background), Wurlitzer
• Yim Yames Vocals (Background)
• Melissa York Drums, Vocals (Background)
By Morgan Troper 12 March 2012
• Any artistic output that matches the consistent modesty of the Indigo Girls’ could, on the flip side, be criticized for being unambitious—with every new LP from the ‘Girls, you can expect another batch of straight arrow folk pop/rock pearls, but very little if any divergence from the formula they’ve thoroughly established. But who could really complain? Not only do the Indigo Girls (as well as Amy Ray, individually) fill the classicist folk/rock/pop hole almost singularly, but adherence to convention is absolutely encouraged in the folk tradition that they’re (sorta) disciples of. You always know precisely what you’re getting yourself into here.
It’s easy to forget that Lung of Love is an Amy Ray solo effort because there are several moments where it sounds like a new, slightly offbeat Indigo Girls record, and this is anything but surprising, considering Ray’s attachment to the pop/rock blueprint whether or not she happens to be teaming up with fellow Indigo Girl Emily Saliers.
• However, Ray has always been been the more thoughtful (and “rock"ful) of the pair—the Lennon to Saliers’ ebullient McCartney, if you’ll forgive the disproportionate analogy—and her solemnity permeates the entire album, even in a relatively upbeat track like “Glow”, which lands squarely in powerpop territory and begs comparison with another Aimee. “When You’re Gone, You’re Gone” and “I Didn’t” do a great job of demonstrating Ray’s still-fantastic voice, and the affected political suggestions within “From Haiti” are still thankfully overshadowed by the unwavering “chug-chug” rhythm and infectious vocal melody that carry the song. “Crying In The Wilderness” is more redolent of Ray’s previous work in the Indigo Girls than any other song on the album, and this can likely be attributed to its spontaneous guitar slides and boisterous banjo, as well as pastoral allusions in the song’s lyrics that don’t really abound anywhere else on the record. The ambiguous “Little Revolution” is incontestably the song’s sparkling pop highlight; filled with frenetic drum fills and ‘60s-tinged vocal harmonies, it brings to mind downer guitar pop bands like the Lemonheads. “The Rock Is My Foundation” is a fairly ludicrous attempt at a gospel that affects the album’s otherwise comely flow, but the title track which follows it is good enough to remedy this hindrance. Filled to the brim with creative chord changes and lyrical triumphs, it’s reminiscent of Figure 8-era Elliot Smith, and it’s entirely unsurprising that it birthed the title of the album. Ray’s blown-out vocal in “Give It a Go” is the sort of aesthetic that I wish she would explore more thoroughly, as it suits the song more than I’m sure anybody could have expected; and “Bird in the Hand” is a fitting jubilation of a record closer.
• Without a doubt, Lung of Love’s highlights are Ray’s wonderful voice and rivaled-by-few melodic leanings. However, when the songs step into political territory I can’t help but quiver. While Ray’s attempt at tackling untraversed political issues is valiant, “meaningful” folk songs are unquestionably trite, and even in spite of her “punk rock” essence, it’s hard to tell how into it she really is, or if they’re just there because people expect them to be. But with the exception of these few straggling moments, Amy Ray has produced a damn decent pop/rock record from beginning to end. There’s no wheel reinventing here, but certainly some wheel-lubricating.
Review by Thom Jurek
• On Lung of Love, the Indigo Girls' Amy Ray's sixth solo album offering, she explores her rock and Americana roots far more deeply than she did on the previous Beauty Queen Sister. While she's no hard rocker, Ray's always been the edgier half of the duo musically. This set, despite the uptempo pace of many of the tunes, is more often than not a particularly wrenching set of love songs that trace everything from brokenness to acceptance to the resolution to transcend. Ray's tunes here are tight and declamatory. Memory is the method she chooses to move her narratives along, beginning with the Americana-tinged opener "When You're Gone, You're Gone," a song that addresses a former lover whose wedding she's attending. The traces of longing -- underscored to the point of poignancy by Greg Griffith's lap steel and Melissa York's shuffling drums, -- regret, and remembrance lead the protagonist to the conclusion in the title. Sad as it is, with a backing vocal chorus by Brandi Carlile and My Morning Jacket's Yim Yames, it sounds like anything but. "Glow" is a short, charging, hooky rocker that expresses no regrets about living fast, no matter the cost. "I Didn't" is a waltz, and one of the most searing numbers on the set; a tale of two lovers whose obstacles leave them at the point of separation. Ray's protagonist has been militant in her resolve to claim responsibility for her side of the street in the messiness of this love -- but no more. Julie Wolf's Wurlitzer is particularly effective at moving the story along as Ray sings above her. • Another standout is "Cryin' in the Wilderness," with its trio of crunchy electric guitars and the odd but gratifying banjo strolling along to Ray's questioning lyric. The title track is a rootsy rocker that touches on everything from Phil Spector to the Del-Lords in its approach; it recounts the emotional state of new love with anticipation and daring. Ultimately, Lung of Love is a strong album. Though there are a few missteps -- the confusing "Haiti" and the downright corny "The Rock Is My Foundation," a spiritual song that attempts to wed old-time mountain music to modern alt-country -- the document's strengths supersede them in a powerful and inviting way.
|Amy Ray — Lung Of Love (2012)|