Reviewer: Kiki Alexander at The Music Edge...review on the web
Ok so when I’m home alone I always end up doing laundry and singing. Between searching for socks and splashing detergent into the washer I’ll go off about random things, thoughts in my head, frustrations, the color of my brother’s boxers, you know, things like that. It’s strangely therapeutic, like venting to myself with a rhythm, and kind of what Jenn Lindsay’s sixth album sounds like. Only better, a lot better, because there is a reason why I only sing when I’m alone not to mention that Lindsay’s soft, melodic folk tunes call for a greater audience than the hum of a loaded dryer tossing clothing back and forth.
But you know what? She does sing about “fancy underwear.”
Don’t be afraid, she’s no Phoebe Buffay.
The New Yorker broke out her debut Bring It On five years ago and has been blossoming musically since then with recognition in obscure places as well as MTV.
But where is it that Jenn Lindsay really belongs? In the studio I think, in the studio on her guitar, her tambourine, piano, or any of the other seven instruments she plays, singing about everything from the entirely random to the wholly applicable. Surely she’ll be pinned to all kinds of genres. Folk-rock, indie, singer/songwriter and yep, she does fit into every single one of those, maybe a couple more, but above all, Jenn Lindsay, she’s a poet.
Her observations on Uphill Both Ways span from sucky love (pretty much the majority of these songs) to the almost unmentionable events of last years hurricane Katrina on “House In New Orleans” a song that could have become something insensitive or overly intense but is instead a deft reflection of the gaps in humanity.
“Brain” which takes the popular 90’s anti-drug slogan “This is your brain” and turns it into a hook! (Remember the commercial where the girl crushes a raw egg with a frying pan and states: “This is your brain on drugs”?)
What I love about Uphill Both Ways though, is this girl’s laugh-out-loud-lyrics, full of irony and confessions. Whatever she’s singing and slowly strumming to, Lindsay does so with this childish innocence, bare-boned honesty, the kind of humility in those going-to-school-naked-dreams with humor to spare.
Take the last track “Kitchen Sink” for example. Eight and a half minutes of little-girl-growing-up.
“And I gave you great sex and some pretty awesome presents And some gorgeous songs and kick-ass letters And all my love and all my patience And all I’ve got left is that awful t-shirt.”
This is no hokey, sitting ‘round the campfire collection of songs though, lest we forget that Lindsay is a multi-instrumentalist, who uses her talents in all aspects, reincarnating folk into her own, empowered chick music, without being all up in your face about it.
Or singing about smelly cats.