With the notice her previous release, Parplar, brought, Larkin Grimm has rightky benefitted more than a little, most noticeably in recruiting the famed Tony Visconti to play and aid in the production of Soul Retrieval, a disc bridging the defunct Secret Eye label with a Wizard of Oz pixie sweetness and the ambiance of musicalized audio book narrative, mostly due to lush atmospheres and lyrics refusing to obey traditional norms. Of course, the fact that it sounds as though William Lyall, Leigh Gregory, and Anne Odell scored the semi-orchestral backgrounds doesn't hurt either—and, no, Larkin didn't invite in any of those master composer-musicians, didn't even tip the nod to Visconti, but handled the chore herself.
To relate Soul Retrieval to anyone else's particular release or wont is difficult. It boasts a very 60s atmosphere, harking back to when Tyrannosaurus Rex and David Bowie were in their early days and far more interested in extending tradition than power chords and synthesizers. The weird-folk element is unmistakeable, but there's likewise a very broad swath of cabaret, Weill cum Lynch cum Walker (he scored the killer first Broadway production of Cabaret), underwriting much of this disc, almost Waitsian at times, The Road is Paved with Leaves being one example, with brushstrokes of Brian Wilson daubed in as well. Thus, don't use this CD for travel music; instead, wait until you can pull into the campsite and play it as the sun slowly dips below sight and ghosts and spirits come out to play. You, it, and they will be completely at home.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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