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kristin hersh, "sunny border blue"

The brand new full-lengther from former Throwing Muses vocalist/lyricist/boss is undeniably her greatest solo achievement. The rocky road Hersh has endured over the last few years has surfaced into an explosive collection of gut-wrenching songs. After fifteen years of hearing her voice, I can safely say there is absolutely no comparison to this one-woman powerhouse of skill and talent - her voice, playing and writing styles are all part of the package deal.


As a writer, both alone and with the Muses, there are volumes upon volumes of songs she once claimed are just "floating in the air," that she only pulls out. While this is her fifth solo full-lengther, it's the most complete to date in terms of instrumentation — with piano, bass guitar, drums, acoustic and electric guitars — all played by Hersh herself. "Sunny Border Blue" includes ten originals and one Cat Stevens cover tune (which oddly enough appeared in last week's 'ER' episode). As captivating as her electric blue eyes, the songs almost always begin in a sincere, vulnerable and painfully direct way, then build to a lashing out with none of her personal feelings held back. From the first track, "Your Dirty Answer" when she cries out with the scathing "It's not my fault you don't love me when I'm drunk" through the last story, "Listerine" where she recounts "How did I sleep through a kidnapping?", these tunes depict bleeding personal interpretations of relationships, experiences and fictitious stories. Kristin Hersh is a national treasure and deserves to be regarded much higher as one of our times' most impressive singer/songwriter/performers.