Kristeen Young- X (label pending)
review by Joe del Tufo

Track Listing

1. No Other God (With Brian Molko of Placebo)
2. Commit Adultery
3. Kill It
4. Lie
5. Cold Steal
6. Goddamn You, You Scenesters!
7. Yesterday’s Future Man
8. I Own The Best Of All Things
9. My TV
10. Devil Girl
(bonus) No Other God

Seven years ago, I had the unique pleasure of reviewing Kristeen Young’s debut release Meet Miss Young and Her All Boy Band.  At the time I noted her potential, as an edgy P.J Harvey meets Kate Bush songwriter, with a penchant for bizarre lyrics and near-progressive tempo changes.  For me she fell largely off the radar, while still releasing Cds (Enemy in 1999 and Breasticles in 2003) and touring heavily in the Northeast.  Somehow an early version of her new disc X made its way to Studio M, and I was anxious to hear how her music had evolved in seven years.

First off, we are confronted with an interesting concept.  On X, Young has taken each of the commandments and given it a little twist.  On each track, Young makes a case for why it might make sense to break each commandment.  Much like Kieslowski’s masterful Dekalog film, she makes a compelling argument to twist assumptions and view them from new angles.  Some of these are more obvious- such as how much fun and beneficial it can be to just make shit up.  All writers already know this.  But Young’s approach “Lie for new life- if I think it, sell it, then I own it. Need some fiction Fake, make or break – away- bend it, twist it, front it, spin it there's no limit. Truth has no use,” is both disturbingly and profoundly true.  Similar approaches to adultery (And now he's mine, babe. Don't care what your last name says) and murder (Now go kill, kill, kill, c'mon, take a stab, you spoiled little brat, never looking back) reveal a dark reality that is largely suppressed from our cultural dialogue, unless of course you're a Nicole Blackman fan.

All lyrical creativity aside, these songs are catchy as hell.  You will have Cold Steal in your head after one listen, I guarantee.  It is Young’s most infectious creation yet.  Yesterday’s Future Man is an off-tempo wonder, a complex and memorable but structurally unconventional pop song.  It also sports the disc’s most affecting string arrangement.  No Other God, a duet with Placebo’s Brian Molko, is likely to get the most attention.  Molko’s helium-high voice is very compatible with Young’s, but it’s not the strongest track on X, largely because it’s the most straightforward.  Lyrically it’s another great concept- using the 7th Commandment (No false gods) in the context of a possessive relationship- you don’t need family or friends, only me.  Very creepy stuff.  The bonus track is a non-duet version of No Other God which, for me, somehow works better than the duet.  It just sounds more consistent with the rest of X.

The disc sounds amazing, with production by the legendary Tony Visconti, who also supplies guitars and all of the bass. Visconti does a nice job of showcasing Young’s unmistakable voice.  Still recalling Kate Bush, her range has expanded into almost Happy Rhodes territory, and some of her cackles and wailings on X are truly surreal and refreshingly uninhibited.

It is my contention that Miss Young remains one of the most overlooked artists out there.  X finds her with an engaging and timely concept, but more importantly a collection of songs that dig into you like ten fingers, and leave scars long after each listen. Until a label is shrewd enough to pick this one up, copies can be had from:

marillion- happiness is the road
tilt- million dollar wound
mickey simmonds- the seven colours of emptiness
ukz- radiation
pain of salvation - scarsick
icon- icon II, icon live
the pineapple thief- tightly unwound
planet p project- levittown (go out dancing part II)
nosound- lightdark
dengue fever- venus on earth
art of all- morgan
marillion- somewhere else
abigails ghost- selling insincerity
blackfield- blackfield II
damien rice- 9
the who- endless wire
the beach boys- good vibrations
the pineapple thief- little man
the killers- sam's town
tom petty- highway companion
hem- funnel cloud
emm gryner- the summer of high hopes
jeremy enigk- world waits
razorlight- razorlight
gps- window to the soul
iron maiden- a matter of life and death
thom yorke- the eraser
richard butler- richard butler
the flaming lips- at war with the mystics
ray davies- other people's live
david gilmour- on an island
nosound- sol29
jackson browne- running on empty 5.1
neal morse- ?
king crimson- 21st century guide to king crimson
shriekback- cormorant
depeche mode- playing the angel
pallas- the dreams of men
my morning jacket- z
riverside- second life syndrome
roger waters- ca ira
various artists- backs against the wall
riverside- out of myself
sigur ros- takk
killers- hot fuss
queen + paul rodgers- return of the champions
journey- generations
yes- the word is live
emmylou harris- heartaches & highways
van der graaf generator- remaster series
rob dickinson- fresh wine for the horses
annie- anniemal
dredg- catch without arms
foo fighters- in your honor
dream theater- octavarium
belle and sebastian- push barman to open old wounds
the go-betweens- oceans apart
porcupine tree- up the downstair (remaster 2005)
coldplay- x & y
nine inch nails- with teeth
aimee mann- the forgotten arm
van der graaf generator- present
christopher o'riley- hold me to this
glen phillips- winter pays for summer
new order- waiting for the siren's call
ben folds- songs for silverman
john doe- forever hasn't happened yet
trashcan sinatras- fez
adrian belew- side one
kaki king - legs to make us longer
longview- mercury
stereophonics- language. sex. violence. other?
for against- echelons
over the rhine- drunkard's prayer
kathleen edwards- back to me
kasabian- kasabian
porcupine tree- deadwing
the wedding present- take fountain
super furry animals - songbook
arena- pepper's ghost
snow patrol- final straw
rpwl- world through my eyes
tori amos- the beekeeper
kino- picture
monarch- the grandeur that was rome
spocks beard- octane
the wonder stuff- escape from rubbish island
richard barbieri- things buried
the pineapple thief- 12 stories down
the pineapple thief- 8 days later
the innoncence mission- now the day is over
zero 7- when it falls
pain of salvation- be
california guitar trio- white water
jelly jam- 2
tim bowness- my hotel year
van halen- the best of both worlds
glen burtnik- welcome to hollywood
charlie mars- charlie mars
porcupine tree- voyage 34 (2004 remaster)
saint etienne- travel edition
lanterna- highways review
hellboys- cha cha with the hellboys review
persona non grata- the fine art of living review
tegan and sara- so jealous review
guadalcanal diary- 2x4 reissue review
voices in the wire- signals in transmission review
roger waters- to kill a child/ leaving beirut review
luna- rendezvous review
jim white- drill a hole in that substrate and tell me what you see review
the drive-by truckers- the dirty south review
the blue nile - high review
lovedrug- pretend you're alive review
twilight singers- she loves you review
keane- hope and fears review
winds- the imaginary direction of time review
kristeen young- x review
asia- silent nation review
macha- forget tomorrow review
crystal method- legion of boom dvd-audio review
kevin moore- ghost book review
marillion- don't hurt yourself singles review
attrition- dante's kitchen review
rush- feedback review
tortoise- it's all around you review
division of laura lee- does not compute review
peccatum- lost in reverie review
iq- dark matter review
bass communion- ghosts on magnetic tape review
the push stars- paint the town review
virgin black- elegant... and dying review
marillion- marbles review
the streets- a grand don't come for free review
the veils- the runaway found review
all about eve- let me go home review
john young band- live review
mary lou lord- baby blue review
the divine comedy- absent friends review
pink floyd- the final cut (2004 remaster) review
prot-kaw- before became after review
jeffrey gaines live review
mocean worker- enter the mowo review
starsailor- silence is easy review
pineapple thief- variations review
lloyd cole- music in a foreign language review
david sylvian- blemish review
spock's beard- feel euphoria eview
guy manning- press pack sampler review
magellan- impossible figures review
the tangent- the music that died alone review
john gorka- live from grace church photos and review
hothouse flowers- into your heart review
charlotte martin- on your shore review
rasputina- frustration plantation review
stellastarr*- stellastarr* review
vast- nude review
sparks- lil' beethoven review
the damnwells- bastards of the beat review
dave gahan- paper monsters review
king crimson- power to believe review
fish- field of crows review
porcupine tree- in absentia dvd-audio review
new model army- great expectations review
antimatter- unreleased 1998 - 2003 review
catie curtis: dreaming in romance languages review
the gathering- sleepy buildings review
twilight singers play blackberry belle review
vienna teng- warm strangers review
opeth- lamentations dvd review
courtney love- america's sweetheart review
blackfield review
anathema- a natural disaster review
nearfest 2003 coverage
neal morse solo photos- metuchen, nj
porcupine tree broadcast
alpha- stargazing review
david sylvian at the tla
emm gryner at the point
barry andrews at the tin angel
tweaker:2 am wakeup call review
cure- join the dots review
fish live from the tla with john wesley
spearhead- everyone deserves music review
miles hunt (wonderstuff) live

full archives coming soon!


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