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Strange Fire

Indigo Girls

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Album Review

Strange Fire, the Indigo Girls' debut album, was re-released after their next album Indigo Girls hit big on college radio in 1989. The beautiful harmonies of college friends Amy Ray and Emily Saliers was immediately apparent on this album, the two-girls-with-guitars format felt like a breath of fresh air from a musical city (Athens, GA) known more for alternative acts such as the B-52's and R.E.M. Although most of the songs featured both women's voices complementing one another, it is clear that the songwriting came from two distinct sources. Emily Saliers, a talented guitarist, generally sings introspective songs in the tradition of folkies such as Joni Mitchell, whereas Amy Ray, whose influences include harder-edged acts such as Hüsker Dü, sings with a rare intensity only matched by the heavy strumming of her acoustic guitar. At this stage, the Indigo Girls are still developing and their lyrics suffer in comparison to their future efforts, which perhaps explains why the fiery, upbeat, and passionate songs of Amy Ray work better than the spare, mellow songs of Emily Saliers. They perform a cover of the Youngblood's "Get Together" that is every bit as good as the original, and their closing song "Land of Canaan" is a concert favorite. A must-own for fans, but casual listeners should start with their sophomore effort.

Customer Reviews

Amazing Album

This along with their first 3 albums, Indians Nomads & Saints, Rites Of Passage, and Swamp Ophelia are by far their best. This is the music that comforted me and intrigued me during college. I hope they return to music of this vein. Emily Saliers is a brilliant writer!

IG started great

The Indigo Girls need to sound more like this and their second album. They now sound like washed mainstream types. This is the way they should sound. I hate it when something good gets worse with polishing.

Great...

Although it is clear they were not as experienced or as familiar with their vocal skills at this point in their career this album is still...WOW! One of my favorite Indigo Girls songs ever is on this album (Left Me a Fool). These ladies have tremendous talent, and it is clear even at this point.

Biography

Formed: 1985 in Athens, GA

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

While they came into prominence as part of the late-'80s folky singer/songwriter revival, the Indigo Girls had staying power where other artists from the same era quickly faded. Their two-women-with-guitars formula may not have seemed very revolutionary on paper, but the combination of two distinct personalities and songwriting styles provided tension and an interesting balance. Emily Saliers, hailing from the more traditional Joni Mitchell school, boasted a gentler sound, was more complex musically,...
Full Bio