Cortney Tidwell

By - Feb 1st, 2007 02:52 pm
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By Nikki Butgereit

Cortney Tidwell’s Don’t Let Stars Keep Us Tangled Up is an imaginative blend of subtle vocals and electronic sounds that is altogether unexpected from an artist touted for her relationship to the Nashville music scene.

Echo effects enhance the delicate, breathy quality of Tidwell’s voice. On the album’s title track, she sounds like vintage Björk, with her combination of quiet enunciation and powerful yodels.

Each song is layered with multiple instruments and vocal tracks, which lends an experimental feel to the record. Most songs meander along without verse or chorus, creating an emotional experience rather than something to which you can sing along. “Illegal” is a creative cacophony, with buzzing, whirring and crowd noise alongside keyboard beats and chords. Upbeat synthesizers and stronger vocals on “Missing Link” add another facet to the otherwise down-tempo album. This song is much more frenetic than the others and shows off Tidwell’s underlying versatility.

Cortney Tidwell’s music is not pushy or jarring – each track sort of dissolves into the next. Headphones really highlight the intricate craftsmanship – in the car or on a home stereo, the music tends to create a mellow hum, and you can almost forget it’s on, save for the relaxing mood it elicits and the occasional abrupt upswing in volume and tempo. Tidwell has created an enjoyably mellow listening experience built on layers of experimental sound. Don’t Let Stars Keep Us Tangled Up manages to be low-key and exciting all at once. VS

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