Liz Janes Say Goodbye

Liz Janes Say Goodbye
Liz Janes has gone all smooth and sultry, relatively speaking, that is. Compared to 2002's rough-around-the-edges, Sufjan Stevens-produced Done Gone Fire and 2004's eclectic Poison & Snakes, her latest album possesses a clearer focus and more consistent sound. But for a musician who has as little regard for songwriting conventions as Janes, "focused" and "consistent" still fall miles outside the box. The San Diego, CA-based musician, whose label describes her as "avant Americana," takes a more soulful approach to her vocals on her third solo release, but lays them over top of unpredictable soundscapes. The music rumbles, at times, twinkles at others. Rhodes piano and guitar are garnished with pops of trumpet and glassy chimes. From "Bitty Thing," a spacey ode to an impermanent and chaotic world, to the joyfully existential "Trees," Janes' baseline standard is beautiful, brave and uncompromising. This is a unique and pleasantly challenging listening experience. (Asthmatic Kitty)