Over the Mountain, Across the Valley, and Back to the Stars 

Jennifer O'Connor (Matador)

Folkie singer-songwriters are a dime-a-dozen, but I'll be damned if this New York City-based guitar strummer and storyteller isn't my favorite discovery of the kind since Amy Rigby and Todd Snider. Like Rigby and frequent comparison Liz Phair, there's nothing flowery or lachrymose here -- in her words, music, or, most crucially, her vocals. O'Connor's lyrics are smart, concrete, and evocative, tapping into emotions without exploiting them. And her music has a surly, rock-based propulsion. "Exeter, Rhode Island," about driving home from the airport after dropping off a lover ("The radio plays a power-pop song/It keeps me company like a friend/I travel down 102 South/And want to kiss your mouth again") is a low-key charmer. "Sister," about missing hers, is stirring and lovely. ("Bullshit Maze," "Complicated Rhyme," "Perfect Match")

-- Chris Herrington

Grade: A

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Blogs

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Solo: A Star Wars Story

We Saw You

Welcome, Dale Watson! And more!

Hungry Memphis

Porcellino's to Move

Fly On The Wall Blog

Dammit Gannett and other Media Follies — Long Weekend Roundup!!!

Intermission Impossible

mömandpöp rock the Memphis Children's Theatre Festival

News Blog

Airport Fires Back at New York Times Story

Politics Beat Blog

Bredesen's Modest Bio, Common Touch Score with Local Democrats

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Chris Herrington

  • Last Words

    In "Enough Said," James Gandolfini makes his last lead film role his best.
    • Sep 26, 2013
  • Masters of Sound

    New albums from two of Memphis’ most distinctive stylists.
    • Sep 19, 2013
  • Hayes Carll at the Hi-Tone

    • Sep 19, 2013
  • More »

Readers also liked…

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2018

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation