“There all is aching.”
That was one of the experiences that “life reviewer” Forrest McNeil was asked to review in the first season of Comedy Central’s brilliant TV show, Review.
I won’t go into exactly what happened (though I will link to a clip), except say that not only did it involve a perfectly-cast Emo Phillips, Forrest could have saved himself a lot of time if he’d just put on Hop Along’s Painted Shut and discovered there all is aching in the vocals.
Because Francis Quinlan has one of those voices.
Raspy and powerful, expressive and unpredictable, her voice — somewhere between Rod Stewart and Kathleen Edwards — is utterly remarkable, and put to its best use on the final track, “Sister Cities.”
In the hospital you talked about
Thumbing down that truck ride for the first time
And the false friend kept his back turned!
That’s when you learned the fierceness of man
Again, again, again!
How long it took to reach the Sister Cities
The way her voice flies into the stratosphere again & again & again, while the rest of the band — especially drummer Mark Quinlan — is making like a grungier version of R.E.M., is utterly thrilling.
Or at least it is to me: I’m guessing that the rough, unfettered nature of her singing might put some people off, especially those that demand perfection and purity in their vocalists. Cos this is the exact opposite: gorgeous imperfection and massive impurity, which comes off perfect and pure.
“Sister Cites” performed live in 2015
Forrest McNeil’s review of “There all is aching.”
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