Pepi Ginsberg: Red

By: Forrest Reda

Pepi Ginsberg comes on like a memory you can't quite place. Her voice is familiar yet new. Her lyrics are timeless, and if you told me she awoke from a 50 year slumber having not aged a day, I wouldn't bat an eye.

Her emotive and story-telling qualities are evident from the opening track, "Son", when she sings:

Last night
I had to make it with a man
Just to get high
I don't try to understand
What I do to get by

In an album of wonderful songs, this one will require repeated listens, but so does "Nothing More" and the most danceable track, "White White White," which has a Velvet Underground feel. The single, "Waterline," is simply gorgeous and is the best example of the album's handiwork.

Produced by Dr. Dog's Scott McMicken, Red (Park The Van) is uncompromisingly alive and captures both the sounds and essence of this labor of love. Ginsberg is a voice we can believe and her observations ring with the weight of the Everywoman. She takes delight in language and melody, and her vocal performance is passionate and sincere. And the cameos McMicken makes throughout the album enrich an already wonderful experience.

2008 has brought several interesting and good albums from actress/indie rock albums such as Zooey DeChanel and M. Ward's She and Him, Volume 1 and Scarlett Johansson's Tom Waits cover album, Anywhere I Lay My Head (which was produced by Dave Sitek of TV On The Radio), but neither sounds as authentic as Pepi Ginsberg for the simple reason that they aren't.

Be careful when you put this album on, because it will bring you to another place and you will yearn to walk down a Brooklyn street, thoughts racing through your mind as the seasons change and time unwinds.

JamBase | Big City Living
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[Published on: 6/20/08]

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