Laurie Anderson is best when she’s quietest and carrying a
big stick. For her first new studio recorded work in nearly a decade, the dark
humorist scales through the landscapes first familiar to fans of United
States, Parts I – IV and renders them with a stark emotionalism rarely
found in her work. And with greater spaciousness – perhaps, due in part to her
co-production team of long-time recorder Roma Baran and longtime
partner/guitarist Lou Reed.
There’s outrage and discontent found through the crisply odd
rhythms and electrofried melodies of “Thinking Of You” and “Only a Expert.”
While the former acts as a rumination on her town and the holes in its soul,
the latter makes a mockery of America’s
fixation with fixes. Yet, its humbler messages (“My Right Eye”) and softly-spun
battle-scarred laments (“Strange Perfumes”) and crinkling cut dirges (“Flow”)
that reveal a gorgeousness to Anderson; her voice; her lyrics even at their
epically tortured or sullenly disappointed.
Greek tragedy, John Zorn and Anderson’s
ages-old longtime male alter ego Fenway Bergamot also makes their diabolical
selves heard throughout the wearily witty yet still effervescently affirming work.
With Homeland she’s become a modern
day DosPassos with a hint of Roger Waters behind the curtain of her eerily
atmospheric sound-bank. Welcome to the new machine.
DOWNLOAD: “Another Day In America”
“The Beginning of Memory” “Bodies in Motion” A.D. AMOROSI