On the cover of her brand new album 101, Keren Ann tries to sell us a tough babe royale with cheese, Honey Bunny style, but actually, the box contains just dead beats and a sad tomato. Nine years ago, the forlorn princess of her nouvelle chanson debut La Disparition told an exceptionally seductive story of longing and melancholia – high in the ranks of FS’s best-of-the-decade albums, and rightly so –, and maybe it was nowhere to go but down from there. While 07’s Lay Your Head Down already was a huge disappointment, 101, also English lyrics only, finally comes as a lesson in artistic rigour and negative energy, oscillating indecisively between neo folk and a pale silhouette of 90s dream pop: half of the tracks – sounding like a portable pulled out of a swamp – are oppressively boring Hope Sandoval copies, the uptempo songs indie pop bubblegum of the shallowest kind, while the title tune offers a bromidic 5:30 min loop that only serves to induce chronic fatigue syndrome, but fast. The limp vegetable is Keren Ann herself. Confusing intimacy with ennui, the royalty of yore has a new title: tristesse drama queen of the year.

Keren Ann – She Won’t Trade It for Nothing

This article has 5 comments

  1. zeddian

    “While 07’s Lay Your Head Down” I stopped reading there. how about reviewing the album of someone you actually know? nice try, though!

  2. N.

    i can not agree less with your review and the rest of your words about keren ann.

  3. patrick

    ‘Lay Your Head Down’ might just be one of the most beautiful singles of the whole decade.

  4. André

    Don’t agree on the critique myself. Lyrically it might be a bit weak, love the rest of it though.
    BTW: Her 2007 album wasn’t called Lay Your Head Down, it’s the key track.

  5. guuzbourg

    Harsh critique by Sky, I agree to some extent. The posted track, My name is trouble and the beautifully arranged You were on fire are solid songs. Lyric-wise, it’s below KA-standard. A disappointment, sure.