Review of The Pirate's Gospel Album by Alela Diane

Alela Diane
The Pirate's Gospel
Album Review

Alela Diane The Pirate's Gospel Album

Singer-songwriter albums are not always relaxing affairs, and, unlike Stephanie Dosen, Alela Diane takes the Cat Power direct tension, rather than Chan Marshall's voice. The Pirate's Gospel is an in-your-face affair, reminiscent of Michelle Shocked, Joanna Newsom or Gillian Welch.

Its simplicity - protesting songs sung over plucked guitar with a drop of harmony here and there - it is a sound that could have gone back to Woodstock (and indeed Diane's voice is reminiscent of Janis Joplin), but the trance-like songs almost need the comfort brought by artists like Newsom, Sufjan Stevens and the Mountain Goats to find their footing - this isn't a comfortable album, and even less so if you dig into the lyrics: self-referential, meditative and confrontational, they make their point directly and simply. If Joanna Newson is your thing, Alela Diane will be also.


Mike Rea

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