The Blackened Air

The Blackened Air

by Nina Nastasia
4.6 3


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The Blackened Air 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I discovered Nina Nastasia after reading a glowing review of her first record in an article in the Chicago Reader. The article set out to delineate Nastasia from the female singer-songwriter family into which she will be inevitably lumped by some. It was an important distinction to make. My gender (male) has something to do with it, but I generally cannot stomach what today's better sex has to sing about - and especially how they sing it. Unlike wild successes such as Jewel, Sara Maclachlan, and even every college girl's sweetheart Ani Difranco, Nastasia's songs never come across coquettish, falsely emotive or clique-ish. Her persona tends to disappear behind well-articulated and heartfelt songs, and the sparseness of her accompaniments makes their poignancy more direct, rather than attenuating the impact of the songs with a comfy, predictable groove. It is a shame that Nina Nastasia is not more well-known - none of my friends had heard of her. She is an important artist with a unique style and a keen songwriting intelligence.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Nina Nastasia uses a device that is hard to bring to grass. It¿s mostly the simplicity of her language and delivery that makes me feel like I do when I have a sincere moment with a stranger, like a bank teller who gives me a look which tells me that we share a defeated mood. Those moments are such a relief, particularly on hard days, that they restore my faith in humanity, if only for a short time. Many great artists affect me in this way, but mostly the older ones, i.e. Dolly Parton, Joni Mitchell, etc. Nastasia plays music in a different style, with great thunder and crashing swells from a mainly acoustic band, with other arrangements so delicate and restrained, they seem like they might shatter. Nastasia¿s is a decidedly modern style - as I write this in 2002 - and I don¿t hear a lot of stylistically ¿modern¿ singers who have that feeling of genuineness I describe. It is a special combination. It is rare to get to hear a classic songwriter at the beginning of her career, rather than inheriting one from another generation. The recording itself is stunning. If I close my eyes, I can easily sense that Nina is performing for me right there, right then, her clear voice ringing on a breath drawn from the air in my room. It¿s a startling illusion, and one that must be attributed in part to Steve Albini. I hope these two continue to collaborate. Much like the work of Nick Drake, who was not a living legend, I think Nina Nastasia¿s records stand to become classics over time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago