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Photo Album of Complex Relationships

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Album Review

On the distressed cover of her debut album, Barbara Trentalange, who performs under her last name only, appears with her back to the camera, seated in a chair, with her hands tied behind her back. It is an appropriate image to represent the album's songs, which deal with romantic obsession to the point of sadomasochism, but which also seek relief and a return to a safe home. Trentalange sings her disturbing sentiments in a disembodied voice reminiscent of Björk (but without the Icelandic accent, of course) over stately music that suggests her classical background in its piano patterns but also reveals at least a nodding acquaintance with the relentless simplicity of Nine Inch Nails. Trentalange never quite works up the enraged head of steam that is typical of Trent Reznor, but in her own way she manages to be intensely involved and involving. On the back cover, she is still sitting in that chair, but she has freed herself of her bonds and is now looking over her shoulder at the viewer with an arch expression on her face. In the same way, she implicates the listener in the world of salvation and damnation depicted in her songs.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Barbara Trentalange, who performs under the name Trentalange, grew up outside Chicago and began performing classical music on piano and flute in various youth symphonies at an early age. In 1992, she moved to Seattle, where she became involved with the musicians associated with Pattern 25 Records, leading her to work with such groups as Spyglass, Sushirobo, and Head Like a Kite. In 2005, she toured as a member of Crooked Fingers. Playing most of the instruments herself,...
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Photo Album of Complex Relationships, Trentalange
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