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Sharon Van Etten
Are We There - JAGJAGUWAR
FILTER Grade: 86%

By Kyle Lemmon on July 1, 2014

 

Sharon Van Etten

 

The title of Sharon Van Etten’s fourth record is missing a critical punctuation mark on purpose. Are We There is the sound of an iterant career musician in the middle of an emotionally trying period. Thankfully, Van Etten’s introspective rock tunes are still sifted through the ’70s singer-songwriter roots of previous recordings. (Trivia note: Some of the instruments on this album were used by John Lennon and Patti Smith.) Are We There’s best track by a long shot is “Your Love Is Killing Me.” The raw-nerve lyrics are pretty clear-cut: “Break my leg so I can’t walk to you/Cut my tongue so I can’t talk to you/Burn my skin so I can’t feel you/Stab my eyes so I can’t see.” All the verbs are stretched out like blood-splattered bodies on torture racks. Hearing Van Etten’s performance on this and several others are downright shiver-inducing. 

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