Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Review (Reposted): Patty Griffin - Downtown Church (* * * *)

After a consistently impressive start to any career, an artist tends to earn enough goodwill to try something different; a concept album, an unusual collaboration or new genre, for instance. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should, and for every successful foray into the previously unexplored there have been innumerable disasters. Granted, when you consider the dependably fantastic Patty Griffin’s latest effort, a gospel record fittingly labeled Downtown Church, it doesn’t seem so removed from her previous works (especially her last album, 2007’s wonderful Children Running Through). Her country-folk straddling aesthetic and continuing progression as a singer would seem to lend itself somewhat to gospel music, but there are still risks associated with her taking an album in a direction that many might see as alienating or easy to dismiss as an indulgent gimmick. (Continue Reading @ In Review Online)