Echo The Diamond
“Oooh, this goddamn song / is so true / I can hardly sing along,” Margaret Glaspy croons on her latest album of guitar rich and lyrically astute songs, called Echo The Diamond, which came out today on ATO Records. It is an album of ten songs which she said “emerged from a deliberate stripping-away of artifice to reveal life for all its harsh truths and ineffable beauty.” The result is not a bleak album at all, however, but one which urges us to “get back to childhood,” respect the “Female Brain,” and be honest with ourselves about the heartache attached to memory and putting your heart on the line.
The first two songs, “Act Natural,” (which has been playing on my local radio station,) and “Get Back,” the singles that she released in anticipation of the album’s release, are by far the strongest songs on the album. But like her previous work, (like with the 2016 album, Emotions and Math,) her guitar work throughout is thrilling and promises to shine in a live performance. She’s always been as much of a guitarist as a songwriter, something like a Madison Cunningham; but like Cunningham, her songs suffer nothing for the instrumental acumen.
As she intended, her honesty shines through, throughout. “All I can do is try my best / Life hurts my feelings and puts my love to the test.” She wears her emotions on her sleeve, but gives voice to a complex soul that sees her place in society (as a woman, as a musician, as a public figure) as one of soul-baring and heart-inspiring. She worked on this album with her partner, producer Julian Lage, but it covers the gamut of human experience, from a man striking out at a club in “Irish Goodbyes” to the way “people who talk don’t say a thing when you / make like a fox and start listening.” But the song, “My Eyes,” is about as comforting and romantic a song as you can share with a partner. “Look into my eyes / We’re gonna be alright.”
She is, in my estimation, one of the best female songwriters of this generation, and while the album can seem to lull towards the end, it is, overall, a set of electric and gratifying songs, an album that does not disappoint. After her 2020 album, Devotion, which flirted with pop music construction, a sweet and impressive album, but kind of a left turn for her, she is back to her true form: as a witty guitar guru. This is a great addition to an already impressive collection of work.
Order Echo The Diamond HERE.
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