MUSIC REVIEWS: My Blueberry Nights and Tristan Prettyman
The soundtrack for Wong Kar Wai’s film My Blueberry Nights features an eclectic collection of musicians – everyone from Ry Cooder to Cat Power contributes. Singer/songwriter Norah Jones, who stars in the film, also lands on the album with a smokey jazzed up song called “The Story.” Cooder adds to the desolate dangerous feel of the soundtrack with a trio of songs, the best of which “Ely Nevada,” could score plenty of stories in it’s 2:33 running time. There’s a good amount of heartbreak thrown around in the movie, and no song captures the lovelorn melancholy nature of the film better than Cassandra Wilson’s cover of Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon.” Even more scaled back than the original, Wilson embodies every note and lyric with world-weary loss. Hello Stranger also score points for adding a lighter touch to the disc via their pretty yet winsome track called “Devil’s Moon.”
“If someone were to say to me, ‘Tell me about yourself,’ I would just hand them a copy of Hello…X and say, ‘Here, this is everything you need to know.'” Those are the words Tristan Prettyman uses to describe her second full-length album, Hello…X, from Virgin Records, a twelve track storybook collection of thoughts, musings, and portraits that are enticing and edgy.
Prettyman has a sexy, smoky, bluesy alto voice that glides perfectly over the musical backdrop of steel-pedal guitar, Rhodes, bass, and drums throughout her album. She’s got a signature style of blues/folk/pop. Her voice is deep but lively, feminine, and sexy. Put simply, Prettyman has character. She plays the type of music that has depth if you care to listen, rhythm if you care to dance, and soul if you care to feel. Hello…X explores Prettyman’s love of country-blues and folk from the ’60s and ’70s, artists like The Band, Joni Mitchell, and Bob Dylan. “There’s something really pure and uncontrived about what they do,” she says. “I really connect with that simplicity.”
—–Marc Gabriel Amigone