Grey DeLisle - Iron Flowers

Grey DeLisle
Iron Flowers

(Sugar Hill)

First Appeared in The Music Box, July 2005, Volume 12, #7

Written by John Metzger


Refusing to be confined to the alt-country and neo-traditionalist movements, Grey DeLisle commences her latest effort Iron Flowers with a rendition of Queenís Bohemian Rhapsody. However, rather than cop the over-the-top theatrics of the original operatic drama, she softly sings the lyrics amidst the gently curling wisps of a pedal steel guitar, and the resulting melancholy mood evokes a sense of desperation that is positively chilling. In recent years, Dolly Parton has employed a similar strategy of adapting songs such as Led Zeppelinís Stairway to Heaven and Collective Soulís Shine for a country-oriented audience, but DeLisleís vision appears to be far grander. Although the subsequent track Joanna could have followed a decidedly Parton-esque path, itís adornment with an array of castanets, maracas, and sleigh bells liberates it from its Americana-based roots and carries it into the realm of Phil Spector-ish pop. Elsewhere, DeLisle dabbles in ghostly rockabilly (Who Made You King), atmospheric Wilco-isms (Inside Texas), and edgy garage rock (Blueheart), and she shades both Right Now and The Bloody Bucket with the pub-infused essence of Elvis Costello and Graham Parker. In working with such a diverse palette, DeLisle naturally runs the risk of creating an album that sounds scattered, but bound by the distant Appalachian strum of Mother Maybelle Carter and the common lyrical threads of love, death, and addiction, Iron Flowers becomes more cohesive than it initially may appear to be. starstarstar

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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!


Copyright © 2005 The Music Box