Album Review: Kristin Hersh (Learn to Sing Like a Star)

If singing like a star only meant having a voice that tobacco companies would almost feel horrible for in having to do part in causing, Hersh would gladly be named the spokesperson for being that poor soul.

On her seventh solo album, Hersh and her sexy sultry rasping came prepared to show audiences that along with stardom, all one needs is about two packs a day to achieve success.

Before starting her solo career, Hersh had help start a band called, Throwing Muses, who formed in Newport in 1981. They became a hit on college radio and were greatly received because they were one of the first successful alternative rock bands that was led by two female singer/songwriters. Hersh is the only original member remaining.

Hersh is known for her uniqueness in songwriting.

This might be because of her bipolar disorder, which explains some of the lyrical content of most songs addressing mental illness, and addressing relationships and characters from her daily life.

Whether or not if sanitity is the case, Hersh has compiled her thoughts and feelings in such a clever way into each song that one my think she’s part of norm.

“In Shock” talks about a relationship that is in grave danger, with one partner feeling as though they have no faults, while the other person is confronted. The accompanied strings make this Dawson’s Creekish song more melodramatic as can be.

“Vertigo” is an Irish jug in the making. Granted, Hersh isn’t in the mood to step dance, she surly wouldn’t mind telling the world how depress she is in this song. Contemplation about shooting oneself, walking to hell and having a torn heart is the forecast of this tune.

If there weren’t enough eggs in the basket already, we can add another one full of anorexia.

“The Thin Man” talks about how this man and his wife dream about eating when the food is only two feet in front of them. The hidden meaning of the song is one struggling with eating control and trying to keep that control, which just results in no one eating anything.

After listening to Hersh’s lyrics, it seems that bi-polar might be the way to go. Hersh has a creative style and pinpoint accuracy on how to convey emotions through song is compelling, she pours her heart out to the world and leaves no door closed. Overall, this is a good CD and sounds as if Hersh actually might know a thing or two about being a star.


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