Country of origin:
Type of music generally:
Most recent release, Artificial Fire (2009)
Tom Waits, musically
I've been mildly interested in her music but not fascinated. Her music is moody and bluesy in a kind of Tom Waits mode, so it's not the songwriting that's going to grab you, it's the mood. (Neile)
Comments about live performance:
Then came the main event: Eleni Mandell took the stage. Actually, that makes it sound dramatic, and it wasn't. She skulked onstage. I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt, here and say...it may well have been an imposter. It's the only explanation for the chasm that was to open up between expectations and performance. Following the direction of her new album (Snakebite, it was mostly a country set, which resulted in song after song of steel-peddle sludge, all at mid-tempo to dead crawl. Eleni Mandell sulked around the microphone stand, face blank, eyes weary. Her voice wandered in and out of tune, and she radiated all the raw energy of a wet dishcloth. Halfway through the set, she announced she had laryngitis. I'm no doctor, but I had no idea laryngitis could drain someone of absolutely all trace of personality or presence. The show ground on its weary way, like Patsy Kline on valium, and at no time did she display anything approximating life, intelligence, verve or commitment. She looked, for all the world, as if she were there only under duress, staring out at us or up at the ceiling with, at best—indifference.
Recommended first album:
1999—Mr. Charles Records—MR-001
Wide in U.S.
Eleni Mandell—vocals, guitar, electric guitar
Jon Brion—chamerlain, baritone guitar, mellotron, optigon, backing vocals, bass, guitar, Hammond organ, tack piano, drums, olavioline, vibes, banolin, slide guitar, celeste, talk box, moog bass, birtron
Brian Kehew and Jon Brion
This album is all over the place, with a strong indie/bluesy feel, hence the Tom Waits comments she's been getting. Her voice is not deep and scratchy so I can't imagine any vocal comparisons, and her songwriting doesn't seem that similar to me. I can hear a little Liz Phair in a couple of songs. Overall, this didn't get much player-time and finally found a more loving home. (Neile)
DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.
|Entry last updated 2012-05-19 23:07:10.
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