Lisa Germano | ReviewGermano's brand of melancholy comes across oddly warm and wistful in its intimacy In the Maybe World (Young God)
July 13, 2006
Lisa Germano can't be as miserable in the real world as she sometimes sounds on her records. It's just not possible. If misery loves company, then Germano's brand of misery is the contrary kind that pushes you away. Her songs are often uncomfortably personal, even painfully so, and if she didn't lay herself bare on each disc, again and again, you'd think she'd just as soon want to be left alone.
Yet over the course of her career, Germano's imbued each album with an undeniable beauty, even when she's sampling 911 calls or wallowing in self-pity. In the Maybe World, her seventh album and first release on Young God, is predictably no pick-me-up, but Germano's brand of melancholy comes across oddly warm and wistful in its intimacy. Songs such as 'Into Oblivion' and 'Red Thread' evoke the bittersweet pleasures of flipping through a photo album and seeing your life pass before your eyes, like ghostly ruminations on loss and regret.
Most of the other songs place Germano's delicate piano playing in sharp focus, the perfect complement to her wispy, fragile voice. When the mood strikes, elements sneak in to underscore the melancholy ‹violins, keyboards, guitars and other mysteriously discordant sounds that float through the music. But no matter how spare or relatively ornate, songs like 'The Day,' 'Moon in Hell' and 'Golden Cities' still creep along with childlike melodies as curiously sweet as they are eerie, and as haunting as they are paradoxically hopeful.