ANTI-; October 2008
With Jolie Holland’s fourth solo release, she creates music of the moment, tunes that sit easily right here, right now. The Living and the Dead picks up right where Holland’s Springtime Can Kill You left off, combining the best of folk, country, and jazz with help from coproducer Shahzad Ismaily. Pausing briefly to capture a moment of haunting simplicity on “Love Henry,” the remainder of the album is woven with Dylan-esque lyrics that paint surreal yet incisive pictures. Life on the road found Holland crossing North America, Europe, and New Zealand when she composed these songs, and the album glides along like a journey through many lands. Love and heartbreak seem to be the crazy glue that holds Holland’s world together, along with the promise of mended hearts on future horizons-and it makes for an achingly beautiful release.