Patty Griffin – Self-Titled
3.5 / 5
Patty Griffin has been writing and performing her stripped-down, bare-your-soul brand of folk for more than twenty years. And on her self-titled Patty Griffin, her tenth studio album, she delivers another polished set of acoustic songs our way. We are huge fans of this talented folk-star, and have adored 2013’s American Kid and her long-bootlegged hidden album Silver Bell released the same year. While we are in favor of musicians’ growth and experimentation in their music, on Patty Griffin we get more of the familiar than we do of the unexpected, both stylistically and melodically.
Stylistically, Patty Griffin hits upon a tried-and-true formula: introduce Patty; add guitar; let the songs of pain and loss flow. This yields “River,” a beautiful, flowing anthem that gently murmurs the strength of women. But in other areas, we are peppered with familiar chords and melodies. Thus comes “Had a Good Reason,” which touches a bit close to “Not a Bad Man” from American Kid. Overall, Griffin doesn’t seem as melodically excited as she has been on previous albums, and while that may not necessarily be a bad thing, we do find it distracting to have many of the same chords feel out to us again. We want that freshness and excitement that swells through us when something like her Living with Ghosts from 1996 comes on: the exploration of story as we explore the sound married to it.
If you are unfamiliar with Griffin’s fantastic discography, you are in for a treat. Griffin’s latest album is another solid handful of folk, but the brilliance of her previous records outshines this one. Though not as bright, Patty Griffin shines enough to be recommended.
Stop by www.PattyGriffin.com to listen to some of her older discography.