It takes some courage to title a new song "Promised Land" in 2008. Carolyn Striho's "Promised Land" isn't the best track on her new four-song EP. It may be the one, however, that best expresses its message via its mood in no uncertain terms. It isn't at all reminiscent of Springsteen's hope-in-the-face-of-despair anthem in its tone, nor even the more cynical but still humorous (humor = hope) "Promised Land" by one Mr. Chuck Berry as covered by Elvis Presley and thousands of others over the years. Striho's "Promised Land" is dissonant electro-pop, with frightening stream-of-consciousness lyrics, appropriate for the zeitgeist following eight years of Bush. But it rocks nevertheless. And rock can also mean hope — even at this late date.
Is This Me? is exceptionally good. The internationally renowned Detroit artist's voice is, at turns, warm, rich, idiosyncratic and, at times, just plain (in a good way) eccentric. "Tiara" opens things on a violin-driven, downbeat, almost mournful but still melodically beautiful note. The appropriately titled "Ocean" is so Patti Smith influenced in its trippiness and mid-song chanting that it almost could be Patti Smith. And that's meant as a compliment — a big one. "Enchante" opens with a calliope-driven instrumental musical interlude before the lyrics kick in and it becomes a clash between the sounds of Barnum & Bailey and gypsys, tramps and thieves.
Good stuff. Four-and-a-half out of five, only because it leaves you wanting to hear more from this Motor City maven.
Bill Holdship is the music editor of Metro Times Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at email@example.com.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.