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Liejacker

Thea Gilmore

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Album Review

Much of Liejacker was recorded at Thea Gilmore's house as self-therapy, without the expectation that the songs would released. While longtime producer/husband Nigel Stonier later embellished the stripped down originals with subtle percussion, bass, harmonica, fiddle, and even guest vocals from Joan Baez — an influence on Gilmore's style — for one song, the core of the project remains stark, personal and, not surprisingly, somewhat insular. The U.S. version, which appeared four months after the U.K. edition, features a shorter (by two tracks) and reconfigured set list, but this is a powerful album in either form. The skeletal "And You Shall Know No Other God but Me," with Gilmore's intentionally distorted lead vocals sounding as if they are coming out of an old transistor radio accompanied by stark acoustic guitar, is extremely effective in a chilling way. Elsewhere, her silky vocals are given free reign to swoop through the introspective lyrics that drive this folk-based material. Two duets, one with Baez and the other the opening track where Gilmore trades vocals with Dave McCabe of the Zutons, shimmer and glow with subtle authority, enhanced by her musical partner's and Stonier's sympathetic production. Lyrically, the album throbs with vivid visual references such as "Rosie"'s "you've got needles in your eyes from all those glances that you stole," made even more striking when sung by Gilmore's honeyed voice. Subtle loops and accordion added to "Roll On" enhance the folksy vibe as she sings "I'm another tinpot poet/another infidel/they're still scrubbing at the stains of the communion wine I spilled." There's a languid sense to many tracks and they unspool at their own leisurely pace. The nearly seven-minute "Dance in New York" begins with simple acoustic guitar and voice but turns into a dark, restrained widescreen epic by its closing strains. Gilmore mixes the controlled drama of Annie Lennox with the insistent purr of the Cowboy Junkies' Margo Timmins for an intoxicating brew that beckons the listener with a combination of sensuality and drama. This is one of Gilmore's least commercially oriented albums yet, and perhaps because of that, also one of her finest.

Customer Reviews

Liejacker

A great album with the usual witty and inciteful lyrics. Gilmores voice is pure and resonant, in a class of her own. Some tracks are 'stripped down' - And you shall know no other God but me, others are fuller with some wonderful instrumental work. Stand out track for me is 'Dance in New York' - just beautiful. Check out 'Burning Dorothy' (album) as well.

Born in the wrong time.

What is wrong with the world that this woman isn't recognised as one of the best artists England has produced? Had Thea Gilmore been born in the time of Dylan or Nick Drake she would have been taken to heart by a generation that knew how to appreciate such a wonderful, prodigious talent for words and music. Unfortunately for her, her art has to struggle to gain the attention of a generation narcofied by the inconsequential corporate McMusic of cold played clones and X factor-free talent. Buy this album and all her others. Encourage this woman to keep writing us these great letters.

Woah

I found this album totally randomly and I was stunned. These songs are really beutiful and sweet- not like a lot of the pop garbage we hear all the time. This album was a breath of fresh air and anyone who passes it by is making a big mistake.

Biography

Born: 1979 in Banbury, Oxfordshire, England

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Singer/songwriter Thea Gilmore was born to Irish parents in 1979. While coming of age in North Aston, Oxfordshire in England, she ignored the new wave reign of the '80s and instead began to seek out her parents' Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell albums. Later, she found comfort in the work of Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, and the Replacements, naturally absorbing the intelligence behind each artist's work. Gilmore began writing poetry and short stories to amuse herself amidst her conventional surroundings,...
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