Lisa Germano | Review

Magnet Magazine | Kenny Berkowitz

It's a painful thing of beauty

July/August 2005
In The Maybe Word (highlighted review)

If you're headed towards a desert island and can only take one bitter, depressed, broken hearted multi-instrumentalist, take Lisa Germano.  She's a first rate musician who switches between guitar, piano, keyboards, and violin, playing them all with a sharp, brooding intensity. As a writer, there's no one else like her when it comes to crafting barbed, brittle songs of yearning, loneliness and betrayal. Germano is an acquired taste: Even on a good day, she's pretty pissed, and those good days don't come along very often. In the past, she's sunk too deep into self loathing and her albums have been difficult listens. But now, at 48 years old, she's somehow cut a deal with herself. The words still wound, but never fatally, and for all her pain, the melodies have never sounded prettier or her voice more vulnerable.  Whether she's wishing she could disappear ("all along I want to go into oblivion") or singing both sides of a lover's quarrel (" Go to hell/Fuck you/I love you/I love you, too") the songs on In The Maybe World have a deadpan, droning resilience, with little more than piano, string bass and an occasional from Johnny Marr playing a handful of notes as softly as possible. It's a painful thing of beauty, and the smartest, sharpest writing of her career.