Those who fancy JOLIE HOLLAND a bit of an odd ducklet’s just say she doesn’t exactly ooze onstage charisma—won’t change their minds with her third album, SPRINGTIME CAN KILL YOU (Anti). The Houston-born vocalist warbles in a slurry vibrato that can tend to grate. Or enchant. There’s something about the strangeness of her music—acoustic, liquid, historically hard to place—that captivates. The arrangements could stand some instrumental flourishes: The string section falls flat, and with Holland singing 95 percent of the time, there are no places for the material to breathe. Still, when her songs work, so does everything else. Flirting with jazz inflections and fleeting imagery, she slides on occasion (“Crazy Dreams,” “Moonshiner,” “You’re Not Satisfied”) into a surprising and soulful place.
From the May 2006 Issue Subscribe