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Nevertheless
     

Nevertheless

by Christine Fellows
 
After a four-year gap between her second and third albums, Winnipeg's Christine Fellows followed 2005's Paper Anniversary with another winner barely two years later. Nevertheless continues the folk-influenced singer/songwriter's winning streak, kicking off with the quirkily orchestrated

Overview

After a four-year gap between her second and third albums, Winnipeg's Christine Fellows followed 2005's Paper Anniversary with another winner barely two years later. Nevertheless continues the folk-influenced singer/songwriter's winning streak, kicking off with the quirkily orchestrated instrumental "Let Us Have Done with the Umbrella of Our Contagion" and the fractured "Not Wanted on the Voyage," a Tom Waits-style quasi-waltz based on a stumbling, drunken rhythm section and a ukulele that's had every trace of Hawaiiana kitsch bled out of it. Most of the album continues in that vein, with agreeably oddball arrangements such as the Philip Glass plays "Chopsticks" piano part that underpins "What Makes the Cherry Red," the madrigal-like harmonies of the a cappella "Outcast," and the duet for cello and ukulele on the folkish ballad "Cruel Jim." In this context, more traditional full-band pop songs like the title track, which features a great 1970s soft rock electric piano part, sound downright commercial, which leads the listener to notice anew how structurally sound Fellows' lyrics and melodies are: the non-traditional arrangements aren't there to draw the ear away from underwritten songs but to enhance them. However, the album's best song is also its most immediately accessible: "The Spinster's Almanac" is a first-person character study of an eccentric old lady (the press kit notes that the album was inspired in part by the life and work of the never-married poet Marianne Moore) with the same novelistic touches, wry humor, and slightly rambling vocal melody that Fellows' husband, John K. Samson, has perfected for his own band the Weakerthans, set to a playful tune and arrangement reminiscent of another gifted piano-playing singer/songwriter, Nellie McKay. In a career filled with great songs, it could be Fellows' best so far. Same goes for the album as a whole.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/13/2007
Label:
Six Shooter Records
UPC:
0836766003425
catalogNumber:
34
Rank:
241745

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