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OFFBEAT MAGAZINE - REVIEW

OFFBEAT MAGAZINE: NEW ORLEANS AND LOUISIANA MUSIC
http://www.offbeat.com/

Denise Marie
'APHRODITE AND OUTLAWS'
(ORIGINALLY TITLED: MESSAGE FROM APHRODITE)
Little Hummingbird Music

Since settling in the Crescent City nearly a decade ago, Denise Marie has certainly become ensconced within her more humid environs while making her presence felt on the quasi-folk scene. Her third and best effort to date unequivocally demonstrates such as Marie towers in a class where few contemporaries fuse their surrounding sonic landscape into a signature folky-bluesy-jazzy, even a world-based identity. Throughout this artful baker’s dozen, Marie saunters between styles, from original muted-trumpet arrangements striking moods of dissonance to rollicking trad compositions (“Your Kiss”) and elegantly played guitar instrumentals. Her songs sweep across a wide gamut of emotions like the brief edginess of “Long and Loud” to the hopelessly romantic “I Gave You a Chance” that was inspired by jazz vocalist Blossom Dearie. She often drops great lines when you’re least expecting it: “Let’s get away from the merciless chitter-chatter of the bourgeoisie.” And then there’s the bomb song, “What Would Jesus Bomb?” that rightfully deserves its place alongside other peace anthems. There’s even a portrayal of death (“Suplicándole a la Muerte”) where a protagonist unsuccessfully battles the reaper, only to find peace and tranquility symbolized by cheery whistling. Once again, Marie raises the bar of personal excellence.

-Dan Willging

February 2005

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