Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

Kate Jacobs

You Call That Dark

2004-05-06

If Iris Dement worked with Yo La Tengo, you’d probably get music that’s sweetly voiced, ethereally recorded, sensibly country and slightly bitter. Or maybe you’d have a Kate Jacobs record.

Kate, along with career collaborator and former Yo La Tengo guitarist Dave Schramm, lovingly paints sympathetic character portraits of the down-trodden in America. In “What a World, What a God”, an old immigrant confuses the word “pain” with the word “cash” and refuses medical treatment thinking his doctors are trying to rob him blind (but aren’t they?). Dreams quietly die in “Pete's Gonna Sell” and “Helen Has a House”. “Tall Buildings” go up, yet the city goes downhill.

Kate makes a vain attempt to balance these maladies by instilling dreams and beauty in the life of her child in “Life Can Be Sweet”. Puzzle over the remaining lyrics as much as you'd like.

Sonically…it’s swirling country music augmented by Schramm’s numerous instrumental contributions.
We Call This Great.

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