Marissa Nadler, 'Marissa Nadler' (Box of Cedar)

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Marissa Nadler
Critical Mass
Release Date: June 14, 2011
Label: Box of Cedar

by Marc Hogan

This New England painter turned songstress has distinguished herself from other neo-folkies with dark gothic imagery and hypnotic, reverbed arrangements, but the refined results often have felt too coolly distant. Nadler's fifth album benefits from a newfound directness. Over acoustic fingerpicking, splashing cymbals, and languidly twanging steel guitar, Nadler inhabits her strongest set of songs yet, pining in a barely adorned soprano for both lost loves and a conjoined twin ("Daisy, Where Did You Go?"). Despite casting herself as an "Alabaster Queen," Nadler exudes vitality.

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