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Believer
     

Believer

by Laura Dawn
 
While Laura Dawn doesn't break free from the stylistic boundaries of her apparent influences -- Garbage, Liz Phair, Alanis Morissette, and PJ Harvey -- her debut does deliver a few knockout punches due to the excellent production work of Ted Niceley (Fugazi, Shudder to Think) who keeps a sharp yet commercially viable edge to the singer/songwriter's mix of post-punk

Overview

While Laura Dawn doesn't break free from the stylistic boundaries of her apparent influences -- Garbage, Liz Phair, Alanis Morissette, and PJ Harvey -- her debut does deliver a few knockout punches due to the excellent production work of Ted Niceley (Fugazi, Shudder to Think) who keeps a sharp yet commercially viable edge to the singer/songwriter's mix of post-punk anger, grrrl-folk anxiety, and singer/songwriter pop. Although most of the songs, like the title track with its swirling guitars and sexually provocative lyrics, don't break new ground, the tough melodies and tensile nature of the music keep the tunes fresh. As comfortable with acoustic guitar and stark accompaniment on "Useless in L.A." and "I Would" as with the more aggressive tracks that comprise the heart of the album, Dawn swings from post-punk folk sweetness to the angry rock growl and peppy "doo-doo-doos" of "The Best Part" while maintaining a savvy pop streak. There's a fair amount of filler on this rather long 16-cut release; a few tunes seem extended beyond their breaking point, and some of Dawn's more obvious attempts at a singalong radio hit such as "Wasted" and "Love You Less" sound contrived, especially when she flippantly curses. A few of the lighter-waving ballads like "Hang On" are major missteps for an artist who aims for the street cred which comes naturally to Phair, and the occasional strings are generally unnecessary. But this is still a sturdy debut from a remarkably assured singer/songwriter with a knack for writing songs and hooks that sound familiar on first listen. A raucous and not entirely successful six-minute cover of Nilsson's "Jump Into the Fire" (which goes on about three minutes too long) is not listed on the sleeve, but is noted in the booklet and closes out this impressive disc on an assertive note.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/09/2001
Label:
Warner Bros / Wea
UPC:
0093624810223
catalogNumber:
48102

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Laura Dawn   Primary Artist,Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals,Hand Clapping,Kettle Drums
David Campbell   Viola
Joel Derouin   Violin
Josh Freese   Percussion,Drums
Peter Kent   Violin
Joe McGinty   Piano
Tim Pierce   Guitar
Marston Smith   Cello
Tommy Stinson   Bass,Guitar
Shelly Berg   Conductor,Performing Ensemble
Thomas Tally   Viola
Richard Fortus   Guitar,Electric Cello
Kevin March   Drums
Mike Elizondo   Bass
Chris Chaney   Bass
Kris Woolsey   Guitar
Noah Simon   Violin,sleigh bells,Synthesizer Strings
Clem Waldmann   Drums
Darin Murphy   Guitar
Simeon Spiegel   Bass,Guitar,Keyboards
Jimmi K. Bones   Guitar
Linus of Hollywood   Guitar

Technical Credits

David Campbell   String Arrangements
Steve Churchyard   Engineer
Bill Kennedy   Engineer
Yoshiki   Producer,String Arrangements
Shelly Berg   Orchestration
Carl Glanville   Producer,Engineer
Ken Andrews   Engineer
Jason Mauza   Engineer
Noah Simon   Arranger,String Arrangements
Simeon Spiegel   Producer,Engineer
Laura Dawn   Producer,String Arrangements,Cello Arrangement
Linus of Hollywood   Composer
Ted Niceley   Producer

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