Amy Millan

Album Title: Honey from the Tombs
Release Date: May 30, 2006
Genre: Pop
Amy Millan has found fame and (some) fortune as co-frontwoman of Stars, and it's easy to accuse that her first solo effort was created to milk off of that success. But that's exactly why we're taught not to jump to conclusions. Most of the songs on Honey From The Tombs were written before the turn of the new millennium (Stars' debut didn't hit until '01), and the 12-track record has been a loooong time coming. Recorded in those fleeting free moments between time with Stars and Broken Social Scene, Millan has spent the last three years cutting tracks for Honey.

Lucky for her, the songs weren't written with a short shelf life. Stars is known for their sickly-sweet pop sound, but don't attempt to delve into Honey in the same headspace. While the dreamy, swirling pop aura is still present, Millan has pushed into country/bluegrass territoryóa sound that has never succumbed to trends, and likely never will. Her feathery vocals are layered 10-storeys high and clean acoustic lines act as a solid foundation, without a whole lot else to steal focus (excluding the droning organ on "Come Home Lonesome Roadie").

Honey From The Tombs is a relatively short album, running just over half an hour, but it does drag it's bottom half. It's not that the material isn't worth listening toóbecause it isóbut the energy level hovers around that of a sleep-deprived sloth for the entire run, and it's rather tempting to fall into a deep trance-like sleep. It's all good though, because the record is sequenced so that the best is presented right up front. The creamiest part of the crop would be the Sarah Harmer-ish "Losin' You," the bass-heavy-yet-extremely-mellow "Skinny Boy," and "Ruby II," which is really the crux of Millan's solo sound.

Writer: Jaclyn Arndt

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