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Thalia Zedek - You're a Big Girl Now

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Artist: Thalia Zedek

Album: You're a Big Girl Now

Label: Kimchee

Review date: Jun. 3, 2003

Sad Atmospheres

It's always good to see something new from Thalia Zedek, and this time around she's in singer/songwriter mode. Not that the songs on this EP fall into typical folk stylings. Having Live Skull, Uzi, and Come on her resume, Zedek is still plying darker waters than most, her melancholy voice illuminating various personal hidden corners of the world.

While there's a peculiar countryish tinge to the opening song, "Everything Unkind," I can't say exactly where I get that feeling from. Nonetheless, the laid-back vibe and vaguely sad atmosphere are common to the songs here as a whole. The viola is a very nice touch – its texture suits the songs well, and Zedek's slightly rough voice is very effective.

Of the two covers here, "Candy Says" – of the Velvet Underground – sounds most like its original version, a slow, dreamy ballad. Utilizing piano and delicate viola, with spare, elegant drums, it's a song skirts the edge of being overly melodramatic, but manages to escape that danger. The title song, a cover of Dylan's, lends a dramatic touch to its storytelling.

The longest piece, "No Substitutions," is a sweeping, almost cinematic song. Like the mood of the EP overall, it leaves a melancholy feeling in its wake. The viola plays a stronger role, slightly rough-edged so rather than prettifying the song it instead adds an off-kilter feeling that works as a good counterpoint to Zedek's strong vocals.

The most upbeat song, "JJ85" uses vaguely Irish jig-like jangly guitars to create a more hopeful atmosphere, while "No Fire" finishes the half-hour set of songs with a pretty memorable melody, buoyed again by piano and viola to good effect.

Zedek's voice feels a bit limited on these songs overall; her delivery throughout the album comes off perhaps a bit one-dimensional. Many of the lyrics here call out for a bit more intensity than she gives them, rather like she's holding back a bit. It would be great to hear her let loose at times. However, by holding back she does add to the subdued atmosphere, almost like the words alone are too much. So while it might be nice for her to open up at times, the songs on You’re a Big Girl Now are still served well enough for them to be memorable, and that's what counts.

By Mason Jones

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