On her 10th album, the veteran Boston folkie expands her scope musically and lyrically, adding modest world rhythms as subtle threads woven through these thought- provoking tunes. Written in several marathon sessions, Red=Luck (at least it does in Chinese culture) is a musical song cycle focusing on a protagonist -- who might be Larkin -- trying to understand life and find love in a world dominated by fear, loathing and suspicion.
It's a weightier approach than that of either Jones or Mayer -- especially when Larkin strips down to dissonant acoustic guitar on "Home" and "Normal," two wrenching cuts that stop the album in its tracks. Thankfully, the sing-along choruses of "Different World," "24/7/365" and "Inside Your Painting" provide sufficient radio-ready fodder. And edgy loop-enhanced percussion helps Larkin expand out of her girl-with-guitar genre.
Red=Luck seldom topples under its own philosophical weight. The practically wordless "Louder" -- featuring 17 musicians, incorporates Celtic, Moroccan, rockabilly and Indian strains all within less than three minutes -- makes for a powerful closing statement.
Patty Larkin plays the Red Light Cafe Fri., March 21.
Any intel about this Project Pabst festival that I scheduled for 10/1?
This does not take about The Chirch at all.
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