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Album Review

A mixture of utterly trad folk and country tunes with some hipsterish indie touches, The Black Dove is uneven, but it works more often than it doesn't. The songs sung by Sharron Kraus, a British folksinger whose voice bears comparison both to U.K. folk icons like June Tabor and American country singers like Gillian Welch, fit uneasily against those featuring Christian Kiefer's hushed bedroom-rock murmur. Imagine Norma Waterson collaborating with Elliott Smith and the parameters of the project's influences will become clear, as well as its flaws. However, the songs featuring Kraus are uniformly excellent, as are the atmospheric instrumental interludes between songs, which occasionally recall Dolly Collins' fantasias for harmonium on her albums with sister Shirley. Kiefer's whispery material, which works better on his solo records, simply sounds out of place in these surroundings.

The Black Dove, Christian Kiefer
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