Thursday, February 23, 2006

Edith Frost It's A Game record review

Edith Frost
It’s A Game
Drag City

When Hank Williams bellyached about “cheatin’ hearts” it was easy to rally behind his awe-shucks chagrin. The women in Hank’s life were cold hearted snakes, plain and simple. But when Edith Frost travels the same lonesome highways on It’s a Game, her affairs are a bit more convoluted. When Frost bares her wounds from failed relationships it’s hard to separate irony from self-indulgence. Her dreamy drone embodies the voice of a woman in anguish over a long gone daddy; and her masochistic ways are rich country fodder. But her depression is impenetrable. Docile bass notes and sprinkles of organ and guitar retreat inward to view the cold realities of her world from a dark, safe place.

There is no sense of urgency when she faces the reality of a lover slipping away in “Emergency.” Trying to make relationships work really has become a game. She’s too drained to invest any more emotion into winning back her estranged lover. Rather Frost relishes the beauty in her tragedies.

Break-ups are generally accompanied by sorrow, but rage, deceit and other equal and opposite emotional reactions are never too far behind. Exploring these other dark corridors would give songs like “Mirage” and “My Lover Won’t Call” more variety. Even Hank crooned “one day you will call my name.” But Frost is most affective when dwelling in lovesick blues.

--Chad Radford

Published by Creative Loafing (February 22, 2006).