Trentalange Photo Album of Complex Relationships

Although this might be her solo debut, Barbara Trentalange has been making music for some time. Back in the late ’90s, she was part of Seattle band Spyglass (who apparently used a six-foot-long bank of effect pedals for their guitars) and more recently she provided keyboards for Crooked Fingers. Things must have ended on good terms in both cases because members from her former bands show up to help her out although this is most definitely a solo affair. Photo Album of Complex Relationships is an intriguing album that doesn’t give up all its secrets after just a couple of listens. The problem is that as a whole, the album stops short of delivering the delights that it initially hints at — Trentalange is a talented musician but she doesn’t show enough of her own individuality. It becomes all too easy to make comparisons to PJ Harvey or even Fiona Apple, and she doesn’t quite measure up to either. Still, her dark, broody songs are never dull, and maybe if she dimmed the lights a little more next time and fully embraced the almost gothic atmosphere that is always lurking in the background, she might be able to come into her own. (G-Unit)