Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Dorthia Cottrell : s/t

The lead singer from Windhand has released her first solo album. Truth be told I have never been blown away by Windhand.It starts off dark and blues, her voice is sultry and strong, then on "Gold" a country element begins to creep in. This is not pulled off in the same manner as say Marissa Nadler and sounds more like a Bonnie Raitt unplugged album. Her song writing is pretty bare bones and the instrumentation is sparse. She gets away with this at first. The songs are to the point so don't drag, there might be a little different flavor of haunting on "Oak Grove" but the guitar in the distance makes it sound too much like the previous song. If the instrumentation on songs like this was given a helping hand by drums or piano she might have sold me on this. Her voice is good , but not good enough to carry songs on an empty stage. She fares better on the country blues collision that reminds me of the Cowboy Junkies on "Orphan Bird" We are back to just the tentative strum of guitar and her vocals double tracked up front.

 Perhaps if her lyrics were more convincing this would be an easier sell, since her voice is right out in the open then you would think she had better have something to say. The more down home country flavor to " Maybe it's True" sound like K.D Lang with less dynamics.It's one of the longest songs on the album at seven minutes but doesn't go anywhere. She works better in more of that Cowboy Junkies place as demonstrated on "Moth". When she is harmonizing with herself she captures a unique quality, but laid bare bones just strumming a chord, it's a snooze fest.Eight songs into the album I find myself really struggling to get through the whole thing, but I force myself and press on. She doesn't touch on any new ground on "Kneeler" and is a far cry from Chelsea Wolfe when it comes to being able to pull this off with just a guitar in hand. "Rake" is barely a shade different from the previous song. It's more tedious guitar strumming, which if you are going to go that route you might as well put a little more into the playing and bang the hell out of it to create dynamics, which is why this album is flat as a table.

 The country comes out on "Perennial" which feels better than the bulk of the album up to this point , but it is too little too late. The country guitar in the background is really sticking to the color by numbers country intervals. The chorus doesn't jump out and grab you. The album closes with " Song For You", there is not much feeling coming from it or the album as a whole ,normally female singer are able to inject some sort of sex into their singing even if it's not intentional objectification even Chelsea Wolfe does it, Marisa Nadler does it and even Laura from Kylesa does it , its just a quality the female voice has , but little is done to inject that. Making the moments that should be more personal, come across as bland.  Said about al there is to say about this one I'll give it a 4.5, maybe she will take something away from this an apply it to Windhand to make them more interesting.

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