Patty Griffin – Living With Ghosts
Patty Griffins debut is in most ways a simple affair, 10 songs presented with only her voice and guitar for company. Her voice, however, travels an uncertain road, with stops to visit Rickie Lee Jones, Lucinda Williams, Alanis Morissette, Tracy Chapman. Left to her own, Griffin has a strong, sometimes breathy voice, with a tone and flavor all its own. But for much of Living With Ghosts, she has unwisely affected that instrument with all the curlicues of style presently in vogue.
It is an odd juxtaposition, such plain, spartan music so garishly adorned. In some ways, such anxiousness speaks to the desperate certainty with which she grasps this chance for a career beyond waiting tables, for a way out. Certainly she can write songs, from Let Him Fly to Forgiveness, and, with titles such as Time Will Do The Talking and You Never Get What You Want, its hard to imagine that reservoir of inspiration will run dry any time soon.
Meanwhile, as Thoreau would have it: Simplify, simplify, simplify.