"A Kiss in Time"

Reviewed by

Greg Baysans

* * *

aka Poet X

Table of Contents

by Patty Griffin

Don't get me wrong.

I love Patty Griffin, usually referring to her as "the goddess." I don't like "A Kiss in Time," however.

A live album, recorded at the end of her 2004 tour, only the final song is something not available on previous studio releases. Liner notes mention how those around Griffin had to convince her to release this as an independent CD. Her feelings should have been more respected.

There are some nice things about it, a nice version of "Christine" and "Nobody's Cryin'," especially.

But overall the song selection is lousy, "Peter Pan" and "Tony" could be replaced by better songs, say "Sweet Lorraine" and "Making Pies." And why end of the tour instead of earlier on with more energy maybe?

A somber mood is set from the very first, "Long Black Limousine," a song about a ride to a burial.

Emmy Lou Harris is competent but not spectacular singing backup on "Be Careful."

"Mary," a personal favorite, is well-done. I'm disappointed at the monologue before the song in which Griffin says the song is inspired by a friend. I'd heard the same song performed live in Portland at which time she said the song is about her grandmother. Now I'm confused.

There's more than enough "chatter" on the album, and Patty comes off as painfully coy. Awkward dead space in the auditorium is left on this version as well as some near-mummbling.

The CD comes with a DVD on which, purportedly, are two videos and an interview; I'll have to visit someone with a DVD player before I can comment on it; I'm sure I'll love it because I love everything Patty Griffin, except this live album.

I strongly recommend any of Patty's three other CDs as the finest of pleasures, "Living With Ghosts" (top of the heap), "Flamin' Red" (the most eclectic), or "10,000 Kisses" (2002) (highly recommended).

Patty is a goddess, remember that.

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