Lisa Germano | Review

Sound means as much to understanding this work as light would to that of art painted on canvas

August 06

In The Maybe World 
Young God Records 2006 
Album 8 out of 10 

     One constant that has run through all of Lisa Germano's independent work has been the aspect of experience and its twin confessional. The talent Germano displays with the pen is as much a treat to witness as are her musical aspirations on the violin and piano. On her latest release, 'In The Maybe World,' these two realizations combine to a soberingly successful effect as a result of the somber instrumentation and understated delivery. For all the sparseness that exists in Lisa Germano's work, there is also an abundance of worldly realization inhabiting that same space. From the onset, 'In The Maybe World' establishes for the listener the methods by which he should view this aural landscape. Sound means as much to understanding this work as light would to that of art painted on canvas. It's the very reason why Germano's vocals are so effective. She never over-sings a song because she is barely singing to begin with. Rather, she makes you believe her words belong naturally to melody. Moreover, a very conscious effort has been paid to provide light instrumentation as an accompaniment to the sometimes dense undertones of both theme and purpose. The album opens with 'The Day,' which carries the listener from befuddlement quickly and steadily into comprehension. The production consciously straddles the line of either being too ponderous in its weightlessness, or being on just the right side of artistic integrity. Herein lie the tension and experimentation of this work. While the experiences and sources of her confessions most likely are anything but light and airy, Germano's sense is to mark the catharsis as a sort of burden levying tool; to feel is one thing, but to know is altogether a more valuable undertaking. 'Moon In Hell' worthily spends its time creating a space that is simultaneously attainable and beyond reach, as does 'Into Oblivian.' How does one come to a place where music can transcend its physical corporality? It's in the very rendering of this possibility for escape that the record itself is most successful. 'Red Thread' does as much for unwinding anger as 'Except For The Ghosts' does for the necessity of closure. In this work, one quickly realizes that the tension exists constantly in illusion and buckling under the weight of illusion's unmasking. Where music and melody play a part, as it does in 'In The Land Of Fairies,' it might be easier to reconcile the loss of a dream with an awakening into the real world. This is because music and melody have the ability to return you from the banality of reality to the wildly rampant fantasy of the maybe world. For it is there that sounds give color to feelings, melodies enable thoughts to flight, and words pour forth from a welling muse.

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