• Venus Zine; Album Review; Edith Frost

    --published in Venus Zine / Issue 26 / Winter 2005

    Edith Frost

    Album Review: It’s a Game
    (Drag City)

    Edith Frost once described her sound as "dreamy, sleepy, country-folk songs for jacking off in the bathtub." Her poetically moody music can also be a soundtrack for heartbreak, alternately rocking out, and then spinning the listener ‘round the room in a consolation waltz. Frost’s new album It’s a Game evokes the beautiful melancholy of fading love, but despite haunting chords and introspective lyrics, she avoids a wrist-slitting or sad-sack-o’-potatoes tone with wry humor, and songs that are occasionally sing-song. Many tracks are laden with organ and bells, creating the subtle effect of a lullaby at a country carnival. The title track in particular has a sweet sadness, with melodic bells alongside disillusioned lyrics; “it’s a beautiful day for launching your lovebeams / out into the stratosphere/…everyone knows it’s a game.”

    While previous albums (with elements of rock, pop, noise, and country) only alluded to Frost’s assuredness, here she is fully resolved – vulnerable, while also caustic and confident, and using a complex mix of upbeat yet lyrically depressed ballads alongside country tunes. Her whispery vocal style is not kittenish but more like a Cheshire cat – sly, sexy-in-an-earthy-way, and spunky. For example, she inserts a knee-slapping “hot damn!” even while lamenting, “I was there for you, I was there for you, “ in “What’s the Use.”

    Frost’s ability to shift volume and speed for dramatic effect is best showcased in the gorgeously harmonic “Playmate,” with keyboards that are initially delicate but quickly become dreamy, crashing crescendos. Play this track first for guaranteed goosebumps and sighs.

    --Gretchen Kalwinski