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Album Review

Hooking up with 4AD wasn't the only new move Berry made with Love. She also recruited a wide number of musicians to help her flesh out her songs. Christopher Berry again played guitar on most of the tracks; avant-garde saxophonist Lol Coxhill popped up here and there; cellists Martin McCarrick and Audrey Riley similarly stepped in; and Levitation members Terry Bickers and Laurence O'Keefe guested on guitar and bass, respectively. Meanwhile, Berry didn't return to the straightforward pop/rock of Firefly, instead letting the ghostly arrangements of Below the Waves be her guide. Peter Walsh worked behind the boards as engineer, though it sounds like Berry clearly had final say regarding the album's production. A singular example of Berry's talent is her radical reworking of Bob Mould's Hüsker Dü nugget "Up in the Air," which is transformed here into a serene, beautiful reflection on regret; Coxhill's soft sax contributions quietly add to the haunting beauty of the performance. Everything else is written by Berry and performed with the soothing beauty with which she made her name. The one exception is "Cradle," co-written with O'Keefe and featuring only him on heavily produced fretless bass; her overdubbed vocals and the low rings of his bass notes make for a truly affecting song. At points, Berry incorporates a low-key groove into the proceedings, courtesy of percussionist Hossam Ramzy. His work on "Washington Square" and the quietly addictive "Silver Buttons" nicely balances the evanescence of the other tracks. It all concludes with the gorgeous lament "Lily," on which Coxhill's soprano sax and O'Keefe's bass provide elegant support.

Biography

Born: 1958 in Boston, MA

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Heidi Berry cut a stark contrast to the prevailing musical mentality of the early '90s — despite releasing records on both Creation and 4AD, together the leading lights of the shoegazing and dream pop movements, her haunting, luminous folk-inspired sound instead harked back to the work of Sandy Denny and Nick Drake, complete with an earnestness and raw honesty far removed from her irony drenched times. Berry was born in 1958 and raised in Boston, MA, the child of an American actor father and...
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Love, Heidi Berry
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