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Bleeding Heart Graffiti

Nina Gordon

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Album Review

Give Nina Gordon credit for this: as her former bandmate Louise Post entrenches Veruca Salt in the sound and styles of the mid-'90s on their 2006 effort IV, Gordon enthusiastically embraces maturity with her second solo album, Bleeding Heart Graffiti, an eminently tasteful collection of adult pop that's not just an album, but a song cycle tracing the breakup of a relationship. Gordon may be following the pattern that Liz Phair wrote when she made the leap from indie rock to Gap ads, but Gordon is so tasteful she bypasses the garish mall pop of Phair's Neptunes' productions and goes straight for the pop of Somebody's Miracle. Bleeding Heart Graffiti has more ambition than Somebody's Miracle, however — for one, Gordon is hungrier than Phair, itching for a little bit of her reputation or exposure, so she's written a tighter album, and her performances are infused with a sense of purpose. The record is mannered and tasteful, although the songs aren't bad and Gordon is earnest enough. [This edition released in Japan includes the bonus track "Tonight and the Rest of My Life."]

Customer Reviews

I'll Sing this Song and All My Friends Will Sing Along

Most people will know Nina Gordon by the nineties alternative band Veruca Salt. But much like the other female led alt-girl bands of the era (think The Breeders) I really didn't care for them and didn't mind that they went back into obscurity as quickly as they escaped it (although I did like Belly). But after leaving the band, Gordon drifted more into the silly named adult alternative genre and released one of my favorite songs of 2000 with Tonight and the Rest of My Life (coming in at number eighteen in my end of the year list) that feature a more mature artist that got rid of the bratty persona that her former band was named after (think Willy Wonka). But that was six years ago and now Gordon is back with her sophomore effort Bleeding Heart Graffiti. It's easy to compare Nina Gordon to Liz Phair as both were indie-rock chicks who have morphed themselves into more of a pop/rock acts, but where Phair has started to come off as an older version of Avril Lavigne or a better singing Ashlee Simpson which means more catchy songs but tend to be disposable, Gordon has transitioned herself more gracefully as her music is accessible without losing any integrity like an Americanize version of Sarah McLachlan. Bleeding Heart Graffiti is an album in every sense of the word with the mood setting intro of the title track all the way to the short outro of The Crickets Sound like Sleigh Bells which really isn't a holiday song much like Christmas Lights early on the album. There are plenty of stand out tracks here like the previously mention Christmas Lights that hits all the right notes and when she sings the line, "Tonight I'll sing out as loud as I can like a die hard fan for my favorite band, loud as I can," you want to be there stand right beside her. The vulnerability in Gordon's voice on Don't Let Me Down can melt your heart. The song Turn on Your Radio is exactly what you should do with this song if you ever find yourself driving on a country road at night in the summer time. It also doubles as a great post-break up song with lyrics like, "I wanna write a song that will break your heart." The guitars that start off and end When You Don't Want Me Anymore have a cool Baby I'm Amazed feel to them. Bones and a Name starts as a slow moving introspective acoustic song that builds and builds only to be brought back down to the bridge and crescendos again for the end of the song. There are a few songs though that are skipable. It may be the chauvinist pig in me, but Suffragette just didn't do for as it seemed a little too poppy for me. Pure is a little sappy, but the track does finish up strong with its overlapping vocals. But even though nothing on this album as good as Tonight and the Rest of My Life, there are plenty good songs that much the album worth listening to.

Nina is AWESOME !

Bleeding Heart Graffiti was so worth the wait ... 'Christmas Lights' shuffles wonderfully along until you get hit with an amazing chorus, and the song keeps growing and growing until you are almost out of breath (listen to it with headphones !) :) . 'Kiss Me 'Til It Bleeds' is the first single of the record and rightly so ... I could go on and on ... 'Suffragette' rocks, 'Pure' haunts, 'Superstar' and 'When You Don't Want Me Anymore' move ... the acoustic version of 'Tonight and the Rest of My Life' is wonderful ... in short 15 amazing songs that prove once again that Nina is a great singer and songwriter.

Three and a Half stars

Would have liked to have given it 4 or 5, but this is still a decent album. I am still a huge fan of TATROML, and this CD is similar, but not as strong, song-wise. The performances are stellar, and her voice is in perfect form. There are no rockers (like Bad Way or Number One Camera) which is disappointing. The album is full of piano based soft rock, with the strongest track being the lead single "Kiss Me 'Til It Bleeds." Other strong cuts are Christmas Lights, Superstar, and Turn On Your Radio. "Suffragette" is the closest thing to rock, and it's a decent catchy song. Some folks will love this, and others will find it boring, vanilla and bland. I'm somewhere in between, depending on which song. I don't think this will do that well commercially, it seems like it is not getting a big push from her label. I guess after six years of waiting, I was expecting more. Still, it is a good album, and I am very glad that she's back. Here's hoping for another new disc next year too.


Born: November 14, 1967

Genre: Pop

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

Nina Gordon first rose to fame with Veruca Salt, the female-fronted alternative rock band whose two biggest singles, "Seether" and "Volcano Girls," were both products of her fierce vocals and tight, pop-minded songwriting. She left the group after the release of 1997's Eight Arms to Hold You, allegedly due to a series of disputes between Gordon and fellow singer/guitarist Louise Post. While Post continued to release material under the Veruca Salt moniker,...
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Bleeding Heart Graffiti, Nina Gordon
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