Holy Road: Freedom Songs
First Appeared at The Music Box, June 2003, Volume 10, #6
Written by John Metzger
Holy Road: Freedom Songs is a re-release of Lizzie Westís independent debut. Snatched up by Warner Bros., she quickly recorded a four-song EP that was released last fall as a way of introducing herself to the world. Unfortunately, this brief outing was a tease that fares far better than her full-length effort.
Holy Road: Freedom Songs begins with a weird spoken-word introduction and quickly descends into the ennui of overproduced tedium. There are other passages of poetry that pop up elsewhere, too, and quite frankly, itís all pointlessly pretentious. Of course, this is a gal who already has filmed a documentary that follows her on a self-proclaimed journey to "find Leonard Cohen." Indeed, her fascination with the Canadian songwriter is an intriguing one ó on the EP, she did a fine job covering Iím Your Man ó if only she would adhere to his sparse, atmospheric arrangements.
Instead, Holy Road: Freedom Songs is slick as can be, virtually mirroring the sonic qualities of David Grayís Babylon. Like the many others who have traversed this path hoping for similar success, West forgets one thing ó Babylon was a great song. It had an infectious groove, terrific lyrics, and Gray stuffed it full of ambience and soul. West comes close on Sometime as well as on the single Dusty Turnaround, but being buried in the middle of her other sound-alike tracks diminishes the power these tunes could wield. Bottom line: Holy Road: Freedom Songs is a boring effort that stretches a handful of musical ideas into a 53-minute album.
Holy Road: Freedom Songs is available
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2003 The Music Box