O.B. James 1 p.m., March 7
Hometown CD Review 3-31-05
Album Name: Miss Halfway (2004)
The title track, "Miss Halfway," packs the biggest punch. You oughta hear the mirror in my house / You oughta fear her pretty, pretty mouth / Says I'm imperfect in every way: Miss Almost, Miss Maybe, Miss Halfway. As the disc's second cut, it is buoyant enough to lure but honest enough to captivate. Singer/songwriter Anya Marina has a wispy, almost ethereal voice that delivers lines like "My car reports to work at eight, my heart is several hours late" and "I get my sunshine from the glow of my TV." Her voice suggests nymphet (or the actress Ellen Green as the original Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors ), but her lyrics and music go further than what you would expect from the character she portrays.
"It Feels Right" and "Fantasy" feature Marina accompanied by Steve Poltz (yes, yes, Jewel's old boyfriend, and now Anya's). These tracks are much more restrained, but the energy remains.
Besides the lyrics, the acoustic guitar is the main draw, paired with Marina's clever inflections. In "Sociopath," Marina sings, "I'm pathologically addicted to what you call a dickhead / cheaters and liars seem to light my fire / and God, I've gotta get clean." Hmm, wonder how that relates to Poltz.
The thoughtfulness of this album is impressive. At least this time, Miss Halfway went all the way.
1. Clean and Sober
2. Miss Halfway
4. Space Monkey
6. If It Feels Right
8. Someday My Prince Will Come
10. Morning's a Peach (Come Back to Bed)
11. Krikor's Waltz Redux