The Wait is Over
Linda Perhacs released her first and only other album in 1970 to scarce popularity. Parallelograms was rediscovered and developed a following thanks to its ready availability on the internet and to the preaching of record enthusiasts. The album saw two re-releases, first in 2005 then again in 2008, and Perhacs has finally dropped her second album: The Soul of All Natural Things.
On the opening title track, chords made by different vocal pitches match a classical guitar that drones forward comfortably until the song breaks down into a flamenco-style interlude. However, the next three songs are rather unimpressive. They drone and flow on without exciting or enticing the listener. By “Intensity,” the chords become lackluster and this song provides a good reprieve before it becomes a problem. The percussion in this song is absolutely on point, a driving beat with jazz-influenced rhythmic patterns, electronic elements blended in tastefully. “Daybreak” is also free from the constant haze of harmonized vocals, but it is otherwise a pretty bland song.
“Prism of Glass” reintroduces the cathedral tone of the earlier tracks, but strips down to just the swirling drone of voices and a simple key melody, with a bit of a pick up towards the end with a kick drum pattern. When listening to this album, if you get to this song and find yourself not liking it, shut it off. If not, buckle up and get ready for a lot of this.
The final three songs on the record were almost painfully boring to get through. The electronics become more prominent and, particularly in “Immunity,” the lyrics become so dull and lame that the songs really hurt the album as a whole. “When Things are True Again” seemed to be closer to a synth-pop ballad than an alt-country one. The conclusion “Song of the Planets” is yet another pool of reverb, but there is a spoken word poem in it that is worth listening to at least once.
Perhacs’ voice is amazing and her songs are good, but this is not a country album. It is very spacious and ambient, but holds a close feel of nature in the instrumentation. Stick a toe in this album, and if it feels good for you, dive on in. But if it isn’t your thing, don’t feel bad– you are not alone.