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  • Lisa Germano | Review

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    Spin Magazine | Lorraine Ali raw, discordant drones, and music-box prettiness 1993Happiness Listening to Lisa Germano’s smart and subtle lyrics on Happiness, it’s hard to imagine that this 29-year-old violinist once backed Bob Seger as he wheezed lines like “love to watch her strut.”  The Indiana native, whose talent also survived tours and albums with John Mellencamp and Billy Joel, must have hid her complexities deep inside-that’s where Happiness comes from.          Germano’s second album- and major-label debut- possesses no squashy ditties about small towns or uptowns.  Instead, it’s a mocking look at her own damaged idealism and doom-laden but humorous outlook on life.  The music, which includes Middle Eastern, Celtic, and country influences in raw, discordant drones and music-box prettiness, takes a backseat to her sarcastic and often self-effacing lyrics.  Germano flops down unassuming vocals and sing-to-yourself melodies as if she never expected anyone would listen to her in the first place.In the ironically pegged title track, Germano sings, “Give it up, try again/Ain’t life fun?,” then deadpans, “C’mon everybody, sing”  Even depressing and dark waves of self-doubt become funny as Germano laughs at her own insecurities. In “Bad Attitude,” she sleepily sings, “You wish you were pretty but you’re not/Ha,......

  • Lisa Germano | Review

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    Option | Robert Gordon Germano sounds like a new visionary 1991On the Way Down From the Moon PalaceIn these times of formulaic alternative rock, this is real alternative. Rock sensibilities are applied to songs featuring violin and other stringed instruments, bowed and picked, where the guitar is usually spotlighted. There are no hooks to speak of, and many of the songs are instrumentals. Germano does some very interesting pairings of the strings with rock drums, such as on “Screaming Angels Dancing in Your Garden,” which seems also to have some backward tape effects. Overall, Moon Palace is a mood piece, not somber at all, but pensive in a way that suggests activity over inactivity.  “Dig My Own Grace” is a restrained rocker, Germano's vocals more intense here than elsewhere. Each song flows into, or contrasts nicely with, the next, making the album whole. This could be the long-intended side project of a frustrated rock member (indeed, Germano has fiddled with such mainstream rock populists as John cougar Mellencamp), or she may simply be taking advantage of an opportunity to spread her wings. In any case, Germano sounds like a new visionary. (Major Bill, Box 30087, Indianapolis, IN 46230)...

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