Poe – Haunted (2004)

album-haunted

I’m not sure why, but I recently got one of the songs from this album in my head, so I dusted it off and brought it along in the car. I’m glad I did, because it got the song out of my head. But unfortunately, this is one of those albums that found its way into my collection but does not really make the grade in terms of my elite musical standards.

I imagine it’s not easy being a solo female artist in the rock genre. Actually, being a solo artist at all does not usually bode well for folks – at least in terms of me liking them. So, with that in mind, Poe actually does alright. She stays true to the weirdness, especially with this cd, which is essentially a love letter to her dead father. Creepy, weird, the potential to be pretty cool. But there’s a little too much pop and solo-artist schtick to make it feel genuine.

There are a few songs I genuinely really like – I did have a reason for buying this cd, after all. The title track is pretty and sad. Wild is a really cool rock song that turns into an even cooler electronica dance tune – really good late-night driving sound. Lemon Meringue is a little happy for my style, but has a good chorus. And Spanish Doll is the song that made me dust off this album again in the first place. It has a distinctly spanish sound, samples delightful classic-movie soundtrack music and spanish background vocals, and has sweet simple lyrics – and Poe’s vocal range in it is impressive. Finally, there’s the album hit, Hey Pretty, which features a dramatic reading of a passage by Mark Danielewski (Poe’s brother) from his book, House of Leaves. Hey Pretty was on the radio and boys loved it because the passage dealt with a slutty girl in a sleek car. But to be honest, I’m a little surprised by the tone in which that particular passage was ready by its author, because I read the book – really brilliant, actually – and that passage struck me as really empty and lonesome and not at all a pleasant or exciting experience for the narrator, but I guess it all comes down to selling albums/books. Either way, it is interesting to have a companion(ish) album to a book that I really enjoyed. Finally, at all costs, avoid I’m Not a Virgin Anymore – this song is exactly the reason I avoid many solo female artists.

I don’t recommend the album, only the songs mentioned above. They can be good additions to playlists for long car rides and house-cleanings. Stay tuned for a more beloved album, soon.

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