I admit that Mitchell's voice may be an acquired taste I've yet to acquire, but that doesn't make her compelling folk re-imagining of a post-apocalyptic Orpheus wandering through Poverty, USA to rescue his beloved Eurydice any less a captivating multiple listening.
Mitchell (Eurydice) bends the blues (Flowers); combines samba with a bayou march (one of the three highlight tracks When The Chips Are Down); gospel folk (another stand-out, Greg Brown's rumbling Hades Why Do We Build The Wall) with healthy doses of drama, jazz and orchestral musings at will. A star cameo by Ani DiFranco as Persiphone (Our Lady of The Underground) adds more funky free form fire to Hadestown, as Justin Vernon, Bon Iver's chief driver, inhabits a Waits-ian Orpheus in Wedding Song and Way Down Hadestown.
When 98% of what passes as music today lacks even the remotest twinge of an idea, thought, emotion or worse—heart—Hadestown and Anaïs Mitchell deserve all the listeners and accolades we can give. Pass it on.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
Website design by David N. Pyles