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    Monday, January 24, 2005

    5. Joanna Newsom: Milk-Eyed Mender

    Joanna Newsom's album is enchanting and I loved seeing her live earlier this year. If you can get past the sometimes shrill nature of her voice, you have a lot to get into here. Her harp playing is mesmerizing. And who learns to play the harp these days? I mean, really??

    This is one of those albums I find very difficult to classify. You may need a high threshold for the absurd. Maybe that's one of the reasons I listened to it so much this year. There's really not much else out there like this. If I casually overheard this somewhere, I'd probably not get into it very much. But when I really listen, it's easy to detect flashes of brilliance even though I'm never really sure what she's singing about.

    Having said that, Boston's The Weekly Dig once called her a "retarded sprite." And I'd have to agree. Buy It.

    Joanna Newsom "The Book of Right-On"