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Loren Connors - The Little Match Girl

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Artist: Loren Connors

Album: The Little Match Girl

Label: Roadcone

Review date: May. 26, 2002


Iíll spare you the whole Loren Connors story; that he lives in New York, that his ability to play electric guitar is threatened by Parkinsonís disease, and that he spent much of the '90s releasing records like a man aware of his mortality. Connorsí instrumental voice is immediately identifiable; keening, lonely, blue without recourse to blues forms. On The Little Match Girl, which is divided into two suites, he goes for a brighter and more reverb-soaked sound, with much less distortion than most of his late-'90s work.

The title sequence, which was inspired by Hans Christian Andersenís tear-jerking tale of a young girlís death, is a particularly distilled example of Connorsí craft. Each of its six brief parts hangs like a mobile, reflecting light from slowly turning surfaces.

Connors stretches out more on the two live recordings that bookend the second cycle, ďThe Art of the Blues.Ē Heís joined by members of his band Haunted House, to mixed effect. Andrew Burnes undergirds his leaderís inexorable probings with a sturdy skeleton of bone-dry chords, but Neel Murgaiís daf (a Persian drum) suffers from indistinct recording.

But the meat of the matter is the six unnamed tracks that sit between the concert performances. Each doom-laden note stands out in bold relief, as stark and lonely as Neil Youngís playing on the Dead Man soundtrack, and just as affecting.

By Bill Meyer

Other Reviews of Loren Connors

Departure of a Dream, Vol. II

The Departing of A Dream, Vol. III: Juliet

Night Through

The Departing Of A Dream

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View all articles by Bill Meyer

Find out more about Roadcone

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