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Alina Simone, ‘Everyone Is Crying Out to Me, Beware’ (54°40′ Or Fight!)

Stacey Anderson // September 18, 2008

In Russian, it’s called vremya peremen — a time of change. And that describes Alina Simone’s third album, which takes a more elegant approach than the cranky indie pop of 2007’s Placelessness and is in another language entirely. Covering songs by Yanka Dyagileva, a young Soviet poet reminiscent of Patti Smith who found cult fame only after her 1991 death, the Ukraine-born Simone sings in the original Russian and brings an aching passion to the sinister lo-fi folk punk. Standout “Half My Kingdom” preserves the original acoustic guitar but trots out bluesy electric fuzz and brass. It’s a strange, hypnotic celebration of a defiant soul.

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