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Transmitter Failure

Jenny Owen Youngs stuck to the singer/songwriter handbook on her 2005 debut, making occasional diversions from the tranquil, acoustic-based material with barbed songs like "Fuck Was I." Four years later, Transmitter Failure finds the artist widening her reach with electric instrumentation, collaboratively written tracks, and a genre-spanning wealth of material. "Led to the Sea" is the most immediately striking tune here, a fusion of bass-heavy verses and buoyant, stomping refrains, but Youngs' biggest asset is her willingness to explore vastly different territory, both musically and lyrically. "Here Is a Heart" peppers its elegant chord progression with some unexpected culinary imagery -- "Here is a heart... battered and braised, grilled and sautéed, just how you like it" -- while "Clean Break" likens a quick breakup to surgery, with neo-jazz melodies and spaghetti western guitars adding color to such stark lines as "Just sterilize the scalpel and let's get this over with." Youngs' ability to confidently jump from genre to genre owes a sizable debt to producer Dan Romer, who laces her music with strings, ukuleles, horns, and harmonies (most of them sung by Bess Rogers, sideman extraordinaire and a solid songwriter in her own right) as he sees fit. Even so, Youngs is the true star here, and the studio polish that coats Transmitter Failure only makes the album more palatable.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/26/2009
Label: Nettwerk Records
UPC: 0067003084024
catalogNumber: 30840
Rank: 258782

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jenny Owen Youngs   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Ukulele,Vocals
Hiroko Taguchi   Violin
Willie Farr   Vocals
Jessica Troy   Viola
Brad Gordon   Percussion,Mbira
Olivier Manchon   Violin
Ben Kalb   Cello
Bess Rogers   Flute,Electric Guitar,Vocals
Chris Kuffner   Bass Guitar,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Double Bass
Adam Christgau   Percussion,Drums,Vocals
Dan Romer   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Percussion,Piano,Accordion,Glockenspiel,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Marimbas,Vocals,Ukeke
Saul Simon MacWilliams   Harmonium,Vocals,Moog Synthesizer

Technical Credits

Gail Marowitz   Art Direction
Justin Pierre   Composer
Jenny Owen Youngs   Composer
Bess Rogers   Composer
Adam Christgau   Sound Effects
Adam Philip Thompson   Piano Engineer
Dan Romer   Arranger,Composer,Engineer,Writer,String Arrangements

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