Crystal Grenade's Lo! And Behold is a brilliant yet brooding look at life, love and all the annoying baggage that comes along for the ride.
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
Cynical, oddly maniacal, yet mesmerizing and that simply covers the lyrical portion of our review. Crystal Grenade takes vocal performance art to levels not seen or appreciated in perhaps twenty five years. The press release describes her as follows: “Shakespeares Sister fighting Amanda Palmer and Tori Amos in a dimly lit Victorian pub. With hand deformities.”
For me it is Patti Smith on steroids if you need a more specific frame of reference. There is an obvious air of mystery that surrounds this most daring release. Is Crystal Grenade a fictional character simply performing in third person or...is this the most lyrically developed vocal artist since Tori Amos? I truly don't know, don't really care to find out either as I am far more inclined to simply enjoy the ride.
Song descriptions for a debut release are somewhat pointless. An artistic frame of reference has been laid down for one to interpret as they choose. The overall impression is theatrical but in a David Bowie type of good way, a cerebral puzzle. Capturing raw and edgy emotive qualities from lyrics that are embracing the darker side of life can be stunning or a self indulgent train wreck. Let's go with stunning...
Tracks: Welcome To The Freak Show; You Could Have Lived; 1892 Man; Lost For Words; Changed; Take Aim!: Go Round Twice; Leaving; Shape Of Things; Nothing To Do With Me; For Allison (What's Left Behind)