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Thalia Zedek: You're A Big Girl Now EP

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if you like this you'll like: Nick Cave, Dame Fate, Lou Reed, Janis Joplin, PJ Harvey.

REVIEW: Thalia Zedek: You're A Big Girl Now EP
11.4.2002 by Jon

Thalia Zedek: You're A Big Girl Now EP [Kimchee, 2002]

Three words? soft like sandpaper

The liner notes for this fine record boast that it was recorded in producer Andy Hong's living room, an aesthetic I've always somewhat admired myself. After we got over the wave of poor children trying to explain to us how very little fidelity their sound actually had, the living room recording experience can be as pleasurable as any you could imagine. Nothing like dragging the coffee table over and setting the mixer and ADAT right down there, plugging in some mikes, and ripping shit up. Not that ripping said shit up was exactly what Zedek was up to on this recording, but the results are pleasing nonetheless.

One gets the impression that she stood in a cloud of her own cigarette smoke, gripping the mike in one hand and letting loose live to tape. Rocking the handheld is also a very pleasing way to go, especially with the absence of crufty pantyhose and digital compressors. Who is to know the details, though? We can merely speculate on what went down.

The six songs on this CD, two of which are covers of Lou Reed and Bob Dylan songs, lean a little to the long side, but this does well to impart to them the listless and longing quality proper alt-country (and, oh, my hackles are raised by the fact I have to resort to such phrase) should have. Zedek's voice has the quality of sandpaper, and the lilting tone she applies to each phrase will quickly get under your skin. Whether you want it there or not is up to you, dear reader. I, for one, found the whole experience rather intoxicating.

Her choice of covers, makes me think that she went out of her way to appear authentic. Naming the record after the Dylan cover, "You're a Big Girl Now", is lame, no matter how much of her personal take on life it reflects. The word lame is lame, as well, but I can find no other word to describe it.

All in all, this is a pleasant listen. The piano warms, the drums creak, her voice soars and crawls around on tape and the guitars keep the whole thing in check. This would keep the crowd cranky at a particularly unfun party, so throw it on the next time you find yourself bumpin' with the old and the old at heart.

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