Leslie Stevens and the Badgers: Roomful of Smoke (Fuse)

 |   |  <1 min read

Leslie Stevens and the Badgers: Ballpark Lights
Leslie Stevens and the Badgers: Roomful of Smoke (Fuse)

Although a reviewer for America's No Depression said Stevens' voice reminded of Emmylou Harris' (although confusingly added “but you will never be confused it”) Harris' crystalline sound doesn't come to mind at all for me. (Maybe Melanie's high-pitched folksiness in places.)

But this former LA punk has convincingly moved into alt.country/singer-songwriter territory and with melancholy fiddle and organ on the slow ballad Ballpark Lights she hits a fragile yearning ideally suited to her aching, cold coffee lyrics. She edges closer to mainstream country (Old Timers, the emotional Patsy Cline-like My Tears Are Wasted on You, the Texas swing of the saucy Don Juan), at other times country-rock in the manner of the younger Lucinda Williams (the title track).

But it is on engaging, time-suspended material like Winter Fugue (“got a bottle and a guitar . . .. we're going to lay around here until spring”), the reflective pop-rock of Salvation and the neatly observed narrative of Americans in Rome with six string twang where this is most interesting.

Her voice may take a little getting used to and over the 40 minutes it does broadcast on a similar range, despite the diversity of the material.

And the final track It's Okay to Trip is pure, good mood Melanie right down to the handclaps, lazy “da-da-di-da” and woozy singalong.

Like the sound of this? Then check out this.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Massive Attack: Blue Lines 2012 Mix/Master (Virgin)

Massive Attack: Blue Lines 2012 Mix/Master (Virgin)

Few albums can claim to have invented and come to define a genre -- but Blue Lines did that for trip-hop . . . and more. It turned the spotlight on Bristol, introduced Tricky and Shara Nelson... > Read more

Steve Reynolds, Exile (Fulfill/Exile)

Steve Reynolds, Exile (Fulfill/Exile)

I know nothing of this LA-based Canadian singer-songwriter other than he turned up on that pretty good tribute to the Band, Endless Highway, that came out last year. (He did a fine version of Stage... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Seoul, South Korea: Soul to Seoul, a bloggers journal 2008

Seoul, South Korea: Soul to Seoul, a bloggers journal 2008

Because I always travel cheap I usually forget that not everyone does. Sure I've stayed in some of the world's most luxurious and most private hotels -- but that's what happens unfortunately... > Read more

EPs by Shani.O

EPs by Shani.O

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Shani.O. She will scoop up some of those many EP releases, in... > Read more