Monday, September 16, 2019

Marissa Nadler & Stephen Brodsky : "Droneflower

I was aware this album  was coming out and it kind of flew under my radar. I suppose I did not hunt it down as eagerly as I might have if I had gone into this knowing it was a solo album. I can be skeptical  o these collaborative efforts.  This one finds her collaborating with  Brodsky from Cave-in. He also plays in Old Man Gloom, Mutoid Man and is an ex-member of Converge. His presence is really more on the plodding tension of the guitar in the second song. He back ground vocals are minimal . This gives her more of a Chelsea Wolfe feel. There is a less of a country vibe, even on songs like "Watch the Time " where it feels like the guitar is going for that more. This is interesting because it feels like they are so ware of working with each other that he wants to be more country and she wants to be more rock.

Like the intro the second take on "Space Ghost" seems to be an atmospheric interlude as well, than song focused. This one has more going on and cooler sounds comprising it. "Dead West"  is ghostly and atmospheric , but not unlike the second song in other aspects. Their cover of "Estranged " by Guns n Roses is pretty brilliant.  The Use Your Illusion albums need more props, there is some good shit on there.  I think one big difference is how the acoustic guitars are produced on this album. They are warmed sounded and contrast her voice rather than blend with it's sound so on "Shades Apart " carries sonic echoes of "Watch the Time".  Her vocal placement works better here. "Buried Love" is short it takes time getting to the song then only has a minute and a half to work with from there.

The album ends with a cover of Morphine's "In Spite of Me" . I think this speaks to Axl's songwriting as on "Estranged you can still hear the original songwriting, where this one gets absorbed by the person covering it. The country vibe of feels more like what I want from her.  Brodsky's contributions to this song are not as prominent. This makes it clear to me that I would have preferred just another proper Nadler album.  I will give this one an 8.5. Her normal albums are in the 9.5 to 10 range so that might give you an idea how this measures up again her normal level of work. At least Brodsky had the good sense to not try singing duets with her.  .

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