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The Naysayer | Deathwhisker (Carrot Top Records)
Aaaaoooowwwwwwww sweet, there's a drawing of animals on the cover, how cute. Wrong. Imagine if Liz Phair made an acoustic album and you'll get the idea. Even Subway Lullaby opens the album with a hint of menace and a flat vocal well in the mould of Liz's Exile In Guyville. However, all sweetness is really out the window for FYF as Anna Padgett croons about her 'fine young fuckable' that the acronym refers to. Played entirely by girls with Anna's bandmate Cynthia Nelson doing the lion's share, but aided by some female friends it could have ended up like a cutesy-pie slumber party, instead it's haunting and stark. On Woman On 11th Street she sings about "my ex's death toll, it rises inexorably" and you want to ask, but at the same time don't want to know. Later she sings that "I'm not proud of what I've done & it wasn't even fun." This is someone you should cross the street from if you see them, but then again I'd be intrigued. Maybe it's just my warped mind that does draw me in, or maybe it's the fragility, the album doesn't drag, it shocks only when and where needed and some parts are so fragile you wait with your hands out to catch the falling pieces. Some of the songs take on the persona of a child, one uses the poems of children as the lyrics, while others sing of wanting one, to "stamp the roaches out while you kept sleeping" and then minutes later they proclaim "I am not your mom." Seems no-one is spared their barbed words, especially former loves as Plans shows with it's wonderful pay off line "I'm talking this one back to the big mistake shop." You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll run screaming from two girls but you won't say no to, deny or oppose them.

Laurence Arnold
CWAS #8 - Summer 2001

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