Local Wire

Lisa Germano

Several undiscovered classics down the road from Geek the Girl, it's becoming increasingly clear that poor Lisa Germano is doomed to be remembered, if at all, as the chick who played fiddle for John Cougar Mellencamp. But maybe that's what drives her to create such dark, unsettling pop. While arguably not as dark as Lullaby for Liquid Pig, this album shares that masterpiece's haunting sense of atmosphere, from the eerie harmonics that only serve to underscore her melancholy vocals on "The Day" to the creepy whispers and disarming post-"White Album" string parts on "A Seed." As usual, she undercuts the understated beauty of her melodies with a vocal style that blurs the lines between vulnerability and danger — just the thing to get across the sadness at the heart of all her most compelling lyrics. Even when she's dreaming of escape, her destinations range from "Moon in Hell" ("It seems a little safer up in empty space/Not a life to live in, just a dying place") to the comforting arms of oblivion. And what could feel more quintessentially Germano-esque than a song whose emotional climax is "Oblivion, I love you"?
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Ed Masley