Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Julie Miller: Broken Things (1999)

(As published in the Times of Acadiana ... )

Julie Miller
Broken Things

Miller is so mystically intense that even such spiritual next of kin as she has seem like Amy Grant by comparison. Who else besides maybe Gillian Welch or Alison Krauss would go mainstream with lines like "Sun and moon will be replaced / with the light of Jesus' face" and "My life belongs to him / who will raise the dead again"? And speaking of miracles, Miller's voice somehow sounds as fragile and childlike on the rockers as it does on the tearjerkers. Like the archetypes of which she's fond--gospel as train, water as sacrament, wind as spirit, devil as cocaine--her singing and star-studded accompaniment feel simultaneously ancient and new. Those who thought she'd never top '97's Blue Pony will be glad to know they were wrong. Rating: Four widows and orphans out of five.

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