added: 26 Jan 2014
// release date: 27 Jan 2014 // label: HumpHead
reviewer: David Spencer
Jace Everett's big break came in 2008 when his song Bad Things was chosen as the theme to TV's vampire series True Blood. It's a good place to start when describing Everett's style, because his distinctive baritone paints pictures of Dracula and sirens. Terra Rosa is an ambitious project for the religion fixated songwriter - as he takes on The Old and New Testaments, with 11 sinister and dark tracks.
Everett describes the album as taking out the skeletons from his closet, looking at the bones and seeing what's there. He says it is a deeply personal record, but he uses characters from the Bible to shape the album. It starts - logically - with In The Garden's stirring strings and atmospheric keyboard and guitar. "The fruit falls from the branches, the scales fall from my eyes, the world spreads out before us, and love is all I find" before the chorus.
Judas gets referenced in the slow groove of Love Cut Me Down and the raw Rise Up - two tracks that are poles apart musically but linked by the Bible's most fascinating character. At no one point do you feel settled. Musically it jumps around, with Lloyd's Summer Vacation like Talking Heads does Rocky Horror, while Sapphira has a fuzzy Red Hot Chili Peppers groove.
Everett says he would like to perform these songs in churches - and discuss with Christians some of the themes. He says not to be confrontational, but to discuss it. Good luck with that. Nothing is as inflammatory as religion. It's up to you how you respond to the ideas and messages - and those offended won't get past the first track. But for a singer from Nashville, this is wonderfully refreshing and different.
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