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Welcome to Pagan Place

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Album Review

Welcome to Pagan Place may be Laura Love's most consistent and successful recording to date, with a seamless weaving of folk, pop, jazz, a tad of rock and blues, and some shimmering reggae here and there. Compositionally Love is always engaging and often even remarkable. She doesn't pretend to be anybody other than what she is, a singer and songwriter. In her genre, she is peerless as a composer. Her deep understanding of rhythm, textures, and instrumental phrasing is singular in the "folk" world. And surrounding herself with musicians such as violinist Barbara Lamb and guitarist Rod Cook doesn't hurt either. A highlight of Welcome to Pagan Place is the gorgeous country ballad "Gonna Rain Hard." The simplicity of the lyric with the earthy sensibility of the acoustic guitars and single-note bassline is perfect, and Love's voice is sublime on the track. The layered vocals on the stomping bluegrass is super, so much so the words just go by until the funky break at the end of the refrain. The fusion of Steve Miller's "Fly Like an Eagle" and the Beatles "Come Together" is clever, and the bass groove is tremendous. "I Want You Gone" feels like something Wendy & Lisa would do and has the same sexy funkiness that is oh so greasy but squeaky clean at the same time. Love's vocals are again lovely, and there's no doubt that she's a smokin' bass player and a talented musician.


Born: 1960 in Omaha, NE

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Over the past several years, Laura Love has become quite acclaimed in the Northwest music scene as an unparalleled vocalist, bassist, and songwriter. Love's style is a synthesis of inner-city funk and folk-ish sensibility. One of the most difficult tasks for a musician is to find an apt label for her music; folk/funk, African/Appalachian, and House/Celtic have been bandied about for Laura Love. Whatever you choose to call it, Love's original music is at once fresh, def, and rooted in tradition. ...
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Welcome to Pagan Place, Laura Love
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