Penelope Houston <em>Pale Green Girl</em> CD Review ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Friday, October 06, 2006

Penelope Houston Pale Green Girl CD Review

Penelope Houston - Pale Green GirlOn Penelope Houston's 2004 release, she returns to her neo-folk roots. This isn't the acoustic music of her early 90's releases but is closer to the sound of the Byrds or Kinks 60's-era jangle pop. While it is radical departure from 1999's Tongue, which was an Avengers-style rock album, Penelope and multi-instrumentalist Pat Johnson successfully carry off this change in direction. This release has 10 new songs and closes with a cover of John Cale's Buffalo Ballet.

This release is positioned as the soundtrack to a non-existant film The Pale Green Girl and there is a continual dark undercurrent beneath the pretty pop songs. The CD opens with the bright and upbeat song Take My Hand where Houston assures a lover that "'ll be all right, Nothing's going to change the way that I feel" but goes from there into Hole, a very pointed song about addiction. The remainder of the CD continues to explore bleak themes and the dark aspects of relationships. John Cale's Buffalo Ballet, a tale of greed and exploitation, is a very fitting closing track for this release. Houston's website describes this CD as "dark cinematic tales of lust, arson, and murder".

This is a great CD which should appeal to fans of Penelope's earlier solo work, 60's garage-pop fans along with fans of artists like Suzanne Vega, Shawn Colvin and John Cale.

This CD is available directly from Penelope's website, Amazon and other major retailers.

Penelope just finished a tour with the reunited Avengers. I have pictures and a recap of the show at Maxwell's in Hoboken, NJ here.