Jolie Holland Pint of Blood

Jolie Holland Pint of Blood
Although she doesn't get the same recognition as Gillian Welch, Lucinda Williams or Neko Case for establishing a strong female presence within alt-country, Jolie Holland's unique approach over the past decade has been immensely influential. Her re-imaginings of the traditional ballad form have always been affecting, but on fifth album Pint of Blood, Holland continues to shed some of her dark image, despite what the album title suggests, for flashes of relatively conventional folk rock. Her unique vocal delivery still provides plenty of sorrowful overtones, yet tracks like "All Those Girls," "Gold and Yellow" and "Wreckage" show Holland musing on relationships with a swinging, melodic flair. A new rendition of "The Littlest Birds" (the song she wrote while a member of Vancouver's Be Good Tanyas) and a well executed piano version of Townes Van Zandt's "Rex's Blues" cap things off nicely, making Pint of Blood another bright jewel in Holland's crown. (Anti)