eMusic Review 0
Social activist, environmental crusader, gold-certified folkie, celesbian: by any standard except her own, Amy Ray is good enough. “Why can't I just deliver?” she sings in “Stand and Deliver,” measuring herself against an idealized lover and coming up short. In “Birds of a Feather,” she locates the fault lines not just in the gay community, but the human one: “If we are birds of a feather/ Why can't we fly in formation?” she asks against a slow, spooked Crazy Horse riff. Ray's incessant striving and willingness to question herself push Didn't It Feel Kinder leagues beyond the side-project stature of her first two solo albums.
Whereas Stag and Prom functioned as high-caliber venting — with Indigo Girls humming along at a polite, predictable clip, she'd occasionally lock herself in the garage and kick out the jams — Didn't It Feel Kinder matches the Girls'best work in songwriting craft and ambition. Tempos shift, melodies coil and unravel, subtle arrangement textures like cello and soul horns soften the rough guitars; producer Greg Griffith (the Butchies) strips “Birds of a Feather” just to bass and voice, then builds it to an astonishing crescendo. Ray tells the story beneath the story: the tangle of unhappy… read more »