Lisa Germano | Reviewmusic that seems to compose itself spontaneously No Author Listed
On The Way Down From the Moon Palace
Central to Lisa Germano’s impressive, independently released debut album, On the Way Down From the Moon Palace, is her notation that the Moon Palace is a place where women live through men’s light. But while Germano is best known for fiddling behind John Mellencamp, on her own album she stands in no man’s shadow.
Playing everything save the bass part, and three Kenny Aronoff drum tracks, Germano airs doubts and deliberations in a manner that is self-absorbed- but never self-indulgent. “When you never talk, I can only guess,” she mutters in “Guessing Game,” for instance. She moves from the artlessly enchanting talk-sing of the verse into a lilting chorus illuminated by country fiddle, acoustic guitar and mandolin. “Dig My Own Grave” matches lyrics like “You said you weren’t that kind of man/Oh it makes me feel sick” with gripping electric guitar blues. And so goes the rest of the disc, alternating expressions of longing with poignant instrumental interludes, weaving a weird, delightfully changing tapestry.
Like Jane Siberry, Germano proffers music that seems to compose itself spontaneously, that discovers itself – and reveals the artist – as it’s being played, moving in directions the listener can’t foresee but readily follows. And near the end, in “The Other One,” when she sings “Hold me, stay close, touch me, don’t leave,” it’s not meek pleading by a girl in a doll house but declaration of vulnerability by an independent woman. It’s a suitable sentiment for a self –assured first outing on which Germano steps down from the Moon Palace to bask in her own light.