Marissa Nadler - For My Crimes - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Marissa Nadler - For My Crimes

by James Weiskittel Rating:9 Release Date:2018-09-28
Marissa Nadler - For My Crimes
Marissa Nadler - For My Crimes

An independent artist in every sense of the word, Marissa Nadler has been fine-tuning her evocative songwriting for over a decade. And over the course of the more than a dozen folk/country releases, Nadler has continuously pushed artistic boundaries with her unparalleled vocal ability and experimental leanings, both of which are on full display with her latest release, For My Crimes.

Intimacy abounds as For My Crimes plays like an almost voyeuristic glimpse into the inner workings of Nadler’s creative process. On the album-opening title track, seemingly inspired from the perspective of a death-row inmate, Nadler calmly confesses “I’ve done terrible things...please don’t remember me for my crimes” over a bed of haunting strings and fingerpicked guitars.

From there, much of what follows can easily be categorized as vintage Nadler as songs like “I Can’t Listen to Gene Clark Anymore”, “Are You Really Going to Move to the South?”, and “Lover Release Me” all showcase the singer’s haunting vocals and picturesque prose to great effect.

Meanwhile, the combination of dynamic cello and saturated guitar render “Blue Vapor” a mid-album highlight while For My Crime’s centerpiece, the blissfully sparse “Interlocking”, highlights Nadler’s impressive electric chops. The album-closing “Said Goodbye to That Car” is a fittingly flippant bookend to an otherwise sinfully serious collection of songs.

With cameos from the likes of Angel Olsen, Sharon Van Etten, and Kristin Kontrol, For My Crimes (which was co-produced with Lawrence Rothman and Justin Raisen, and features a nearly all-female roster) exudes a strong and distinct feminine energy throughout.  

While it would be easy to dismiss For My Crimes as just another ‘voice and guitar’ record, it’s Nadler's masterful storytelling delivered by way of her highly emotive singing that really sets her work apart from her peers. And to that point, it’s an impressive feat that this deep into her career, Nadler still manages to defy both classification and expectations. With For My Crimes, Marissa Nadler has not only turned in one of the best folk releases of the year but might have also provided fans with a career-defining statement; yes, it’s that good.

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