A Review of the CD
"The Truth of a Woman"
by Kristina Olsen

"The Truth of a Woman"
by Kristina Olsen

Copyright 1999
Take A Break Productions
P.O. Box 21
Venice, CA 90294-0021 USA

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 2/00
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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Alternating between blues numbers and more standard folkish cuts, Kristina Olsen's latest release primarily focuses on less-than-satisfying relationships and lost love. However, the two absolutely standout songs here, the tender and insightful "The Truth of a Woman" and the ultimately triumphant ballad "The Yellow Piper," curiously do not follow this mold.

Peter Grayling's dreamy cello enhances the effect of "The Truth of a Woman," a subtle but powerful blending of the grace of the female body along with an artistic rendering of womankind. Olsen, leading on guitar, sings:

Based on a true story picked up on one of her sojourns to Australia, "The Yellow Piper" depicts the trevails of a woman intent on fulfilling her dream of becoming a pilot. Trading sexual favors for flying lessons, a resulting pregnancy forces the young woman to leave her hometown in disgrace. Eventually marrying, she gratefully acknowledges "...when a man would marry me and take my bastard child, I shut my mouth, I learned my place, my husband to satisfy." But secretly saving up money and furtively attending pilot's school, Olsen, on guitar, backed by Grayling on mandocello, continues: Backed by Grayling on mandolin and harmony vocals, "Between this Woman and this Man" is an intriguing take on the curiously different viewpoints in a male and female relationship. Olsen, on guitar, offers: Olsen closes out with the playful "Big O," singing:

"...Some folks say big O stands for oil digging and a pumping in virgin soil
It may be crude as Texas T but a whole lot of drilling's all right with me

Some folks they got no sense they think it's a religious experience
they shout 'Oh God' to heavens a humming with the glorious ascension and second coming of...

Now a double big O is hard to find and an uptight big O takes a bottle of wine
some only come with a wedding band, there's a whole lot of O's that are made by hand, yeah..."

Olsen provides an solid blend of earthy vocals and direct lyrics, with an uncanny knack for just the right instrumentation on each cut. Her ability to immediately inflect emotion into a line or even a single word is remarkable. This release has a little something for everyone: joy, pain, humor, triumph, failure--sort of like life.

Track List:

All songs by Kristina Olsen, except as noted.

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