My Brightest Diamond

This Is My Hand

Asthmatic Kitty

Sep 12, 2014 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Shara Worden has been quietly carving out a niche for herself as a unique voice for some time now. Her projects have certainly been varied; aside from releasing music under the My Brightest Diamond moniker, she's contributed to everything from last year's The Blind Boys of Alabama release I'll Find a Way to Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang's Death Speaks, a classical composition that truly sculpted beauty from morbidity.

This is My Hand, meanwhile, has an agenda, and the items on that agenda are largely to do with crafting big, bold, colorful, and inventive pop songs. If a college marching band had found fame doing YouTube covers of radio hits, and if Worden had taken them on as her backing band, the result might sound like the song "Pressure"only much, much better than what you're thinking. That same palette of horns and woodwinds is threaded through the record, but the texture usually has a more conventional base layer of guitar, synth, and electronics. Sometimes that base layer is really all that's needed: it takes some time for the horns to seep into the sexy, drum-machine-and-bass strut of "I Am Not the Bad Guy," and there's little sign of any acoustic instrumentation in the grooving, digital workout on "Shape."

This is My Hand is for anyone who's been dying to sand down the edges of St Vincent's angular alt-rock exercises, or wishing that Bat For Lashes might hire a brass section. This collection of vibrant and varied songs sees Worden in many forms: taking the reins of a marching band, staking a claim to the dance floor, and weaving a symphony from delicate bedroom electronics. In all instances, the results are thoroughly enjoyable. (www.mybrightestdiamond.com)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10



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