Weekly Wire
The Boston Phoenix Lori Carson

Everything I Touch Runs Wild

By Ted Drozdowski

OCTOBER 13, 1997:  If there's beauty in sadness, it comes from the honest outpouring of emotions that sadness causes. Lori Carson understands this, and she writes lyrics that sound so damned true in their expression of loss and want that they strike the soul like velvet boxing gloves. If that weren't enough, she has a delicate voice that wrings every teardrop from her songs. Her notes are pretty, frail things struggling to fly under the leaden weight of failings and regrets. It's hard not to be smitten by her breathy mix of pain and sensuality, by her characters, who tell their grievings so articulately.

In one tune, she explains simply and convincingly why a woman can keep loving an abusive man ("I put my whole heart in it"); in another, she details unrequited but undeniable love in a few lines ("There are some things you can't possess/They come to own you instead/I wish you were in my bed"). Her arrangements are so spare, they seem to be the last earthly connections of a heartbroken ghost -- guitars, strings, trumpets, and programmed textures matching the dedicated fragility of her singing. You may know her work from two earlier solos albums and two Golden Palominos CDs, but this is the essence of her craft.

-- Ted Drozdowski


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