Today's music review is Pretty Little Dead Girl: Seanan McGuire and Friends Live at OVFF 2005.
I've now listened to the album about 3 times, so I'm at the point where I'm somewhat familiar with it, but I still have an early impression, which is where I like to be for a review. So here goes.
Seanan is a brilliant poet, so even if I didn't already know she was a great songwriter, it wouldn't be a big shock. Her lyrics are, as one would expect, finely crafted and deeply meaningful. Her tunes are interesting and appropriate to the lyrics, and her arrangements go well beyond the basic "one singer and a guitar". She's been training her female backup singers for years in Lady Mondegreen, and her stunt guitarist and male vocalist Paul Kwinn does quite a good job. The songs run the gamut from spooky to goofy, they're all good, and some of them are amazing.
Technically, there are some rough spots in the performance and in the recording, but this is a live album recorded at a con. It's not perfect, but it's plenty listenable. I don't buy many live filk recordings these days, but I think it meets expectations for what it is. (If you want the polished, perfect Seanan recording, wait for the studio album that she's working on now. But that album will be mostly different songs, so you'll still want this one.) Seanan has a great voice, her co-conspirators play their supporting roles well, and it all fits together into a satisfying whole.
And she used one of my photos for the main cover picture.
9 out of 10.
P.S. You can order this album directly from Seanan here.