Nields - If You Lived Here, You'd Be Home Now
and Garfunkel on Estrogen Injections
of impeccably-presented folk-pop would be well advised to
taste-test the Nields' latest sonic confection, If You
Lived Here You'd Be Home Now - the sort of tasty-yet-tepid,
lite Lilith fare that beguiles without surprising; satisfies
the stomach without sticking to the ribs.
England quintet's fifth release saves its best for first.
The irrepressibly sunny "Jeremy Newborn Street," with its
tenuously-twee tin whistle and brass band accents, sounds
like something that may have bounced out of Petula Clark's
handbag while she was asleep on the subway. "Caroline Dreams"
suggests a creamy collision between Judy Collins and the 5th
Dimension's Marilyn McCoo. And the throwback ballad "One Hundred
Names" fearlessly wears its Janis Ian-esque sentiment on its
sleeve, to genuinely compelling effect.
the Nields' richly-integrated, melodious vocals (courtesy
of sisters Katryna and Nerissa, and, on a troika of tracks,
friend and fellow granola-folkie Dar Williams) invites many
a flattering comparison to acts both past and present: the
Sundays' Harriet Wheeler; the Cranberries' Delores O'Riordan;
Natalie Merchant on Prozac; Simon and Garfunkel on estrogen
injections; the Indigo Girls on Prozac and estrogen injections.
on the album's decidedly less satisfying second half ("Jack
the Giant Killer"'s plodding pop; "Keys to the Kingdom"'s
neutered bluegrass), these slick, frictionless harmonies begin
to take on the soulless sheen of '80s schlock popsters Exposť
and Wilson Phillips.
time the quintessential Lilith Fair group-hug/sing-along "I
Still Believe in My Friends" is set before the sated listener
like a complimentary wedge of sickeningly-sweet cheesecake,
you'll likely find yourself begging for the check. And jonesing
for a Rolaids.
and all, what the Nields do, they do quite well. Just don't
come in hungering for haute cuisine; this is strictly a comfort-food
kitchen. Beguiles without surprising. Satisfies without sticking.