Top Albums of 2007: #11. Marissa Nadler - Songs III: Bird on the Water

#11. Marissa Nadler - Songs III: Bird on the Water

Marissa Nadler's voice could place her as Joanna Newsom's sheltered, lovesick Aunt. Her style of lyrics also places her in Ms. Newsom's lovely company: they are undeniably modern, but simultaneously refer back to the symbol-rich nursery rhymes of Western Europe.

The nautical theme of the album further pushes Ms. Nadler's voice into the past, casting her as the bittersweet balladeer of a world made up of distant loves and seemingly empty promises of colonies across the sea. Her voice may not be as polarizing as Ms. Newsom, but she is certainly her spiritual and musical cousin. In fact, one can imagine Joanna's girlish trills surrounding "Sylvia", rather than Ms. Nadler's cold, low croon.

Songs III: Bird on the Water is an excellent, if not perfect, collection of songs, each of which Marissa manages to transform into a haunting, unforgettable testament of an ancient culture and people.

(download it here)

Nathaniel Tyson

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