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:
Take the time to see her jaw
Feel the bite beneath the skin
Teeth and muscle and bone create
The stillness of her chin
It isn't how your hand moves
It's how you see
It isn't the grade of the pencil
It's the line it leaves
How your eyes trace
Her body's solid grace
That is the truth of a woman
How the hip begets a thigh
Is the finest kind of spell
Let your eye become your hand
As you stroke her belly's swell
It isn't how her heart beats
It's the way it pulls the skin
It isn't just the curve of a sigh
That does you in
The scratchy sound her hair makes
As you draw that place
That is the truth of a woman"
The kids were full of disbelief but wanted to hear more
My husband on the other hand slammed the kitchen door
He wouldn't speak to me for weeks but it wasn't what I thought
He was angry I wouldn't trust him to let him know my heart
My husband bought me my own plane he said it's cheaper than divorce
And I started a business dusting crops we could use the cash of course
He's not a big talker that man, but it's okay with me
He lets me be who I am, the rest is history
And it is through the clouds I fly
And I am through living out a lie
I can fly"
This young woman is like a mail box
But she thinks she is the whole world
The moon spins around her each day
And she just sends mail on its way
And while her belly is full of love letters
She thinks of what he'll say
When he comes in real late
She twists the ring on her finger
She twists it three times round
And she wonders why he strayed
And he wonders why he stayed
There's a whole lot of wondering going on
And the stallion's eyes reflect the moon
And the moon reflects the ring on her hand
And that's just how it is between this woman and this man"
"...Some folks say big O stands for oil digging and a pumping in virgin
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
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.
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