Album Review

Can’t – “New Secret ” – [Rrrecords]

Thurston Hunger   12/13/2005   A Library, CD

Bostonian Jessica Rylan is the one who “Can’t”. This album
feels like a study in sonic nodal interference. All but one
of the tracks prominently feature choppiness, she is only
coming through in waves, her lips move…erp, sorry about
that. You *can* hear what she is saying, but the vocal
diffraction distraction forces you focus more to pick up
the thread of thought. First track features pillow talk over
a faulty pilot light, a lullabye pyre? Between the flickering
flames she exhorts “Don’t be the one to tell the Secret.” On
“Wishing Well” her voice is further tortured, this time by
squelch and feedback, in the middle the chaos subsides and
we get two couplets before more blissful bristle, eventually
she dives into the well. “Driving in the Rain” is a flutey
sorbet to cleanse the palate with a little-engine-that-could
plucky melody. On “The Way Home” we actually hear the sheets
of static rain that thicken at times getting windshield-wiped
away for more distorto-whispers. Her approach reminds me of
Jesse Quattro except Rylan’s underlying human content is
sweeter, only the electronics instill the aggression. The
closer, “Casting a Spell” starts with a rhythm akin to an
old Ford Fairlane I use to have… this one goes the distance,
again scrambled intentions diffracted to hide the deeply
personal right out there in the noisy open. Extra credit
for introverts…

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