Marnie Stern - This Is It And I Am It And You Are It And So Is That And He Is It And She Is It And It Is It And That Is That
- Artist: Marnie Stern
- Album: This Is It And I Am It And You Are It And So Is That And He Is It And She Is It And It Is It And That Is That
- Label: Kill Rock Stars
- Year of Release: 2008
- ME Rating:
- Reviewed by: soundaslanguage on 2009-06-30
The tendency to compare Marnie Stern to shred-master guitar heroes such as Eddie Van Halen and Yngwie Malmsteen is understandable, but perhaps misleading. Yes, Marnie Stern taps on the electric guitar. But while Malmsteen and his ilk zoom up and down the fretboard in a mad dash, Stern singles out a particularly catchy riff to reiterate and build upon. The result is that Stern's sophomore album, This Is It, is as cohesive as it is maniacal. It's difficult to separate the power this album wields from the bombastic, complex, but always fitting drumming provided by Hella's Zach Hill. The variance and energy he provides to Stern's oft-repetitive guitar lines grants This Is It more dimension and listenability than it might have otherwise.
Certainly the second track, "Transformer," is the hit on the album. It's infectiously poppy and fast-paced, only pausing long enough for a headband-wearing Brooklyn party goer to take a much-needed sip from a can of Sparks. However, upon multiple listens the straightforward bubblegum of "Transformer" falls a bit flat. The second half of the album, beginning with the delightfully angular "The Package is Wrapped," holds the majority of the stranger, darker, and more interesting tracks. "Roads? Where We're Going We Don't Need Roads," shows Stern striking the perfect balance between the pop spirit that makes this album so fun, and the Deerhoof-esque weirdness that makes it both difficult and intriguing. On "Roads?" Stern's vocal delivery takes the spotlight away from her tapping, as she wails like Gwen Stefani on a rollercoaster, spouts peppy sing-song chants like a cheerleader, and ends it all with a multilayered vocal victory lap. While the incessant pace and repetitiousness can make This Is It grating at times, at her best moments Stern wraps up the virtuosity and energy of Lightning Bolt into a shinier, poppier package like no one else.
User Reviews and CommentsLog In or Register to Rate Albums
Tell us why this album is great or sucks ass, or correct the reviewer. If you write enough quality reviews you may find yourself on the editorial staff.
Reviews have to be over 100 words, shorter ones are classed as comments.