Shannon Wright Shannon WrightSecret Blood
Alter having finished with Crowsdell, Shannon Wright (a native of the futuristic skyline of Jacksonville, Florida) sold herself as the kind of singer-songwriter that leaves an indelible sentimental mark. In 1999 she put out “Flight Safety”. Nothing remarkable. Four albums later, practically the same. Yann Tiersen had to come to the rescue in 2005 to help her with a real counterpoint work ( “Yann Tiersen & Shannon Wright”), and there we could really see the magnitude of how Tiersen’s melodies rich in rhythms, which were supposed to fit Wright’s gentle compositions like a glove, really held their own, ensuring that any effort by the singer-songwriter to sound deep in questions of feeling came to nothing. And as if that weren’t enough, our star’s comeback in 2007 with “Let in the Light” had the bad luck to close the indie success of Cat Power’s “The Greatest”. That is to say, the velvet process that Wright was seeking was sublimated to the umpteenth power. Therefore Wright, whose main value lies in the bipolar disorder of “atmosphere plus narcotic punk,” now has the opportunity to show that besides having a nice voice, she also knows how to keep her distance from those similar to her and to make complicated shifts between the two different themes. And truth be told, dark rock with a depressed nostalgia can be a real luxury cocktail for depressed nights when you feel like experimenting.
So it’s a pity to be left wanting more with this “Secret Blood”, an LP that is, on the other hand, promising (it’s never late to have attacks of maturity). Interesting, of course, are the electronic Björk-like proposals ( “Palomino”), present in “Dim Reader” (where beauty is sought from a classic perspective with rock rhythms, and a Moby mood is created with echoes of Sol Seppy or the Radiohead of “OK Computer”). And when it comes to sad extremism, such effective songs as “Merciful Secret”, “Blood of a Noble Man” or “Satellites” are enjoyed as much as the semi-orchestral pieces (the relaxing and whispering “In the Needle”, with an intrauterine airport ending, sadness in small letters, like Tori Amos achieved at times, here in “Under the Luminaries”, or the antisocial piano of “Chair to Room”). This is all well and good. Perhaps the problem is precisely Wright’s wild side, the PJ Harvey or Sleater Kinney part (by the way, besides playing with its leader, Corin Tucker, Wright has also played live with Nick Cave, Dirty Three, and Low, among others). We’re talking about the only two pieces like that here, the noisy “Fractured” and “Commoner’s Saint” (the latter, in fact, could form a part of Hole’s new album, if Hole were a real band and put out albums like they used to). Yours truly chooses the middle ground: the catchy “Violent Colors” (slightly dismal, accompanied by a sweet, fragile voice, in a dream pop style, but with narcotic punk evolutions), and “On the Riverside”, which is effectively and credibly sad, like a melody taken from a music box. One of those music boxes with the figure of a ballerina spinning around inside of it. It was a posh ballerina, indeed, stylised and dressed in white, but she danced alone and when the box was closed, as it was most of the time, the dancer was paralysed in the most complete darkness.