[FM] FAME Review: Terri Hendrix's "The Art of Removing Wallpaper"
written by David Schultz
David N. Pyles
dnpyles at acousticmusic.com
Wed Aug 18 12:42:35 EDT 2004
The Art of Removing Wallpaper
Wilory Records (WR30006)
P.O. Box 2340
San Marcos, TX 78667
terri at terrihendrix.com
A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by David Schultz
(schultz at alum.mit.edu)
The girl from San Marcos, Texas, has grown up. On her seventh album, The
Art of Removing Wallpaper, Terri Hendrix sheds her denim overalls (a
fashion staple at her concerts and in her pictures on all her previous
albums) for a more glamorous look. Unlike many other artists who undergo
similar makeovers, Hendrix fortunately stays grounded in the music that
produced her 50,000-member mailing list.
The neatest thing about Hendrix is her genuine approach to songwriting. She
has no pretense and sings in a way that means something to everyone. The
Art of Removing Wallpaper finds her already strong songwriting talents
continuing to mature. Such continuing education follows down the path she
started with her previous album "The Ring." <FAME review here:
"http://www.acousticmusic.com/fame/p02178.htm>. The album title comes from
the time she spent peeling ugly wallpaper from her recently purchased
fixer-upper. The similarity between this process and the more personal
themes she was exploring in her songwriting was not lost on this woman. "I
realized that 'wallpaper' is everywhere," Hendrix says, "from the news on
the TV and radio to the way we all hide our true feelings from ourselves
and the rest of the world on a daily basis. The more wallpaper I peeled
away in my home, the more obsessed I became with stripping it away from my
life, too, and writing about the truth underneath it all." The result, "The
Art of Removing Wallpaper," definitely reveals a lot of truth from Hendrix.
She sings very personal songs about overcoming personal insecurities ("One
Night Stand"), maintaining perspective in the face of obstacles ("Hey
Now"), and understanding herself ("Breakdown"), but in a way that is not
overly introspective as many folk singers can be. Even dealing with these
very personal issues, she handles them with incredible strength. She even
has the courage to tackle LL Cool J's "I Need Love." The overt sensuality
and emotions expressed in this song require a confident singer, and Hendrix
confidently delivers. Attracted by the positive message that it sent about
romance, Hendrix sings a soft rap (a la Annie Gallup) overtop a gentle
acoustic guitar that builds to the chorus. Seeing this song live must
result in a tremendous out-pouring of emotion from the heterosexual males
in the audience.
"I Need Love" is not the only cover song on this album. "Quiet Me" is the
second song written by Jeff Barbra and Sarah Pirkle to make it on a Terri
Hendrix album. (The last one was "Prayer for My Friends" from "The Ring."
Jeff and Sarah's album "Barb Hollow Sessions" with Quiet Me and Prayer for
My Friends is reviewed here <http://www.acousticmusic.com/fame/p02891.htm>.
The slow pensive mood for this song helps Hendrix focus on the beauty of
life when life moves too quickly.
The middle of the album contains a trilogy of politically motivated
songs---these are the most overt political statements Hendrix has made on
record. The trilogy opens rather subtly with "One Way," which states "One
way is the only way you see things. It's your way or not at all." Hendrix
explains, "I find it discouraging and heartbreaking whenever I encounter
minds that are closed---be it personally or politically." "Judgment Day"
ups the ante by taking people to task who want "to use God when they do
their dirty deeds in his name." The trio closes with "Monopoly," a frenetic
and raucous song ending in a an old-time gospel revival with the chorus
"Hey, hey FCC. Don't you turn your back on me," and encouraging her
congregation "You got to rise up."
Although Hendcrix has released two captivating live albums, The Art of
Removing Wallpaper is the most live-sounding of her studio albums. She
genuinely seems to be having fun. Credit her usual bandmates (Glenn
Fukunaga, Riley Osbourn, Paul Pearcy, Adam Odor) and her long-time
producer, bandmate, and business partner Lloyd Maines. They provide a
strong instrumental backing to Hendrix that makes this album one of the
highlights of Hendrix's already impressive career. This album is for both
new and old fans. Hendrix stays true to her past with her hummable melodies
and melange of bluegrass/country/folk/rock/pop music styles, but allows
herself to grow deeper and explore new territory.
Enjoy the Ride
It's About Time
One Night Stand
I Need Love
Long Ride Home
Edited by David N. Pyles (dnpyles at acousticmusic.com)
Copyright 2004, Peterborough Folk Music Society and David Schultz. This
review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
David N. Pyles
Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
82 Leadmine Road
Nelson NH 03457 USA
Regime change begins at home.
"War is a coward's escape from the problems of peace." - Thomas Mann
"fas-cism (fash'iz'em) n. A system of government that exercises a
dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state
and business leadership, together with belligerent
-- The American Heritage Dictionary
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