Jarboe – Thirteen Masks / Jarboe and Lary Seven – Beautiful People Ltd (CD)

Pretty much what I thought, Jarboe’s style of pseudo-goth/electronic sound sounds a little dated in the fourteen years since this album first came out. However, when compared to some of the other goth-esque music from the period, Jarboe seems a fresh as a newly-created corpse. Some of the reversed instrumentation on “Red” provides a perfect backdrop for the heavenly tones of Jarboe’s voice. The sultry vocals of Jarboe’s present on the pseudo-blues “Wooden Iols” seem only to be a slight bit less melodramatic than Diamanda Galas, but even this minor difference is enough to make the unlistenable (Galas) into something almost groovy and danceable (Jarboe). Opening “Shotgod Road (Redemption) with a very calming rain-effect, the emphasis that Jarboe places on this track (including the blues-esque delivery found so favorable by eir) allows for the track to pound its blooding fists over the average listener. Finally moving back into something more up-tempo, the shotgun-blasts of the drums of “I Got A Gun” allows a very strong beat to be formed from the nexus of the instrument-like qualities of Jarboe’s vocals on this track and the mechanical drum beat laid alongside it. The mixture of dancing, industrial-tinged goth music and more traditional goth music provides a dichotomy on this disc that is almost untenable. I sit at my desk hoping only that the dance dominates at the end.

Jarboe and Lary Seven – Beautiful People Ltd (Atavistic) / 2004 Atavistic / 19 Tracks / http://www.thelivingjarboe.com/ / http://www.atavistic.com / Reviewed 06 February 2005

Coming through with a more cultivated sound than Thirteen Masks, “Warm Liquid Event” is a shuffling, smoothed-out and intricate track that insinuates the silky vocals of Jarboe forevermore into one’s head. The disjointed opening of “Danse Dementia” weaves some bizarre sort of harmony through its incorporation of electronic and traditional elements, only having a complete sound when the track is re-worked and given vocals under the title of “Bebe Marie”. However, the crux of “Beautiful People Ltd” comes during the “A Coruscation”, an Atheist-based hymnal replete with clapping. Although, the lowest point on “BPL” is achieved during Jarboe’s cover of the drek-filled track “I Feel Pretty”, which is surprisingly even worse than the cover of the track that was found during “Analyze This”. After the astonishing highs and lows that are achieved in just the space of ten minutes on “Beautiful People Ltd”, following tracks (L.S.B., No) do little to further the boundaries that have been previously established. The monotony of this album provides listeners no real reason to go out and pick up this re-done album (even with six different mixes of tracks).

Top Tracks: I Got A Gun, A Coruscation

Rating (Thirteen Masks): 5.9/10
Rating (Beautiful People LTD): 4.4/10

Jarboe – Thirteen Masks (Atavistic) / 2004 Atavistic / 17 Tracks / http://www.thelivingjarboe.com/ / http://www.atavistic.com / Reviewed 06 February 2005

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