Nina Nastasia Outlaster

Nina Nastasia Outlaster
Paul Bryan (who has worked with everyone from Aimee Mann to Lucinda Williams) provides the orchestral backing for Nina Nastasia's indomitable sixth album. The added austerity grants these songs a timelessness, moving from the bohemian folk of Judee Sill or Rickie Lee Jones to a kind of Eastern European Suzanne Vega vibe. Little pockets of emotional concussion are concealed beneath a surface stoicism hinted in the album's title. For every patient "chin up" entreaty like "You Can Take Your Time" there is an urgent "fuck shit up" call, as in the creeping violence of "What's Out There." As on her previous high-water mark, 2003's Run to Ruin, the song structures often appear simple, however, the timing and energy create stories that only last four minutes, but are incongruously epic. It's an album of subtleties that confirm, and then exceed, first impressions. (Fat Cat)