"Unassuming and grandiose" lost classic, according to producer Steve Albini
Nina Nastasia’s debut from 1999 has been fetishised as a Great Lost Album of sorts, thanks to the excellence of her two follow-ups and uncharacteristically fulsome praise from producer Steve Albini. Finally given a wide release, Dogs measures up strikingly well to its legend. Fans of The Blackened Air and Run To Ruin will know what to expect: frail, oblique narratives full of junkies and dog metaphors; a singer who sounds at once unblemished and world-weary; chamber-folk arrangements that are intricate but never overblown. Dogs, though, has more range than its successors (“Nobody Knew Her” is a surprisingly full-blooded rock song) and?in “Stormy Weather”, “Jimmy’s Rose Tattoo” and “All Your Life”?some of Nastasia’s very best songs. As a singer/songwriter who can describe heightened emotional states with an undemonstrative elegance, she has few contemporary equals.