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Lisa Germano Lullaby for Liquid Pig [Young God Records] 2003, 2xCD reissue, 2007

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Rating: 9.5

Thank Jesus, Allah, the Easter Bunny or any other minor deity that Young God Records have just re-released Lisa Germano’s 2003 masterpiece, Lullaby for Liquid Pig as a 2xCD reissue with an extra disc of home recordings and live tracks. The original version went out of print quickly as the initial record label that put it out went bankrupt. This stunning piece of music was originally released after a five year hiatus in which Germano pondered the idea of ceasing to make music altogether. Luckily, she did eventually come around and in doing so recorded this album, which is a crimson cascade of wine, broken glass and sheer beauty. Lullaby for Liquid Pig was conceived as a record about alcohol dependency and the subsequent acceptance of both her addiction and depression. It is a gorgeous album that flows like a late night lullaby, which features some hazy production and gentle ripples of intoxicating psychedelia.

This record should be listened to and taken in as a whole composition instead of as a group of individual songs. It glides seamlessly from track to track like a melody that coaxes one to sleep. The atmosphere is quite dreamy with reverb heavy soundscapes. Select tracks that stand out ever so slightly amongst this great bunch of songs are “Pearls” and “Into the Night.” With these songs, even though the melodies are gorgeous, it is Germano’s lovely voice that makes the tracks so spellbinding. On “Pearls” she sings, “Falling fast/Raise your glass/Fill your open sores,” with such honesty that you can almost smell the red wine on her breath. “Into the Night” boasts another terrific melody along with Lisa’s altogether heartbreaking delivery of lines such as “Everything’s missing/Lost all the feel/Losing the need for real things.” You have to hear it to understand the level of disillusion in her vocals. On Lullaby for Liquid Pig, Lisa Germano pours out her soul and lays it aside the empty bottles that lie on the table alongside her. It could very well be her best record.

The bonus disc is an absolute treat supplementing the studio album. At almost twice the running time of the studio CD, it opens with a home recording of “It’s a Rainbow,” a song that first appeared in 1997 on a record that Germano recorded with members of Giant Sand and Calexico under the name OP8. This version is a bare demo that fits right in with the Lullaby for Liquid Pig theme. The song would have nestled itself in without any remote clash within the proper album. It’s thematically apt closing line is “Feel the bottle in my stomach/Alcoholic/Alcoholic/It’s a word my friends called it.” The demo versions on the bonus CD showcase Germano’s songs from a stripped down and intimate angle, a nice contrast to the woozy studio album production. Rounding out the bonus material is a wealth of live recordings featuring stark versions of songs from Slide, Lullaby for Liquid Pig and her most recent album, In the Maybe World. The second disc closes with “Making Promises,” an early home recording of Liquid Pig’s “It’s Party Time,” containing entirely different lyrics.

In order to fully appreciate Lullaby for Liquid Pig and its marvelous production, it is best to listen to the album on headphones. The panning of the instruments, Germano’s fearless honesty, and the half inebriated delivery of the lot will pierce your eardrums and make their way through your veins like a fine glass of vino, but it is still fantastic no matter how one chooses to listen to it. The record is sensational and the bonus material makes this purchase well worth every penny.

-Andrew Boe

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By Andrew Boe

I live and work in Seattle and have been here for ten years now. My addictions are records, coffee and red wine. Musically speaking, my tastes are grounded in a space where Leonard Cohen has dinner with the Reid brothers from the Jesus and Mary Chain.