Elizabeth & the Catapult, 'The Other Side of Zero' (Verve Forecast)

The Other Side of Zero
Critical Mass
Release Date: October 25, 2010
Label: Verve Forecast

by Stacey Anderson

Don't expect any lighthearted "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" shenanigans here -- Brooklyn chamber-poppers Elizabeth & the Catapult lace their levity with foreboding and undercut their sweeping melodies with gritted-teeth growls. Their sophomore effort, the result of a song cycle commissioned by WNYC DJ John Schaefer, shows a thoughtful maturation from winsome debut Taller Children. The title ballad glides easily on pretty piano and slide-guitar twangs, reaching a beautifully devastating climax as singer Elizabeth Ziman mourns the era when "I was determined to believe every prayer's accounted for." But she wears disenchantment well.

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