Spider, The Way to Bitter Lake

Spider, The Way to Bitter Lake

Not without potential, I suppose, but in my book the whole sparse wispy female vocals over even sparser music needs some je ne sais quoi to lift it, and The Way to Bitter Lake just has a whole lot of quoi: almost comically repetitive minimal riffs, uninteresting lyrics, dispassionate vocal delivery, and one of the most estranged relations to rhythmic timekeeping I’ve ever heard. And yet with all that in the anti, there’s something that keeps me thinking that down the road that Spider might mature into something quite powerful — maybe it’s a couple more ambitious lengthy songs, or even just the song title “Don’t Be Afraid, I’ve just come to say Goodbye, ‘The Ballad of Clementine Jones'”, which is either an inscrutably brilliant formal conceit of a song title (look at the use of capitalization! the quotes! is the singer saying goodbye to the song?) or just a cluster of phrases and punctuation gone sour. So if I hear people talking about Spider a couple years down the road in hushed tones, I’ll believe it, or at least give her another try. In the meantime, though, in a universe where my Cat Power CDs work, I can’t imagine I’ll ever be playing this again.

(self-released; Spider -- http://www.spidersongs.net/)

Review by . Review posted Wednesday, June 28th, 2006. Filed under Reviews.

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