Grant Lee Philips - Ladies' Love Oracle
On quitting Grant Lee Buffalo in 1999, Phillips holed himself up in the basement of producer Jon Brion for three dark October days, finally emerging with a handful of witching-hour spirituals. Previously available only at gigs and online, Ladies’ Love Oracle is the result: a dimly-lit acoustic suite of minor chord subtlety, artful melodies and sparse backdrops. At times, he sounds eerily Lennonesque (“Heavenly”; “Don’t Look Down”), at others like a delicate Elliott Smith. The slide guitar of “Folding” and a couple of percussive numbers aside, the pace remains fixed (indeed, there’s no sign of his dynamic-shifting baritone amongst the whispers), but it’s an understated treat nonetheless.
Rating: 3 / 10