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Sharon Van Etten

Tramp (Jagjaguwar)

Reviewed by Chase Hoffberger, Fri., March 16, 2012

SXSW 2012 Records

Sharon Van Etten

Tramp (Jagjaguwar)

The wounds that wrote 2010's Epic haven't closed for Sharon Van Etten. Breakups, one in Tennessee that spurred 2009's Because I Was in Love and another in New York just before Epic, are still central to the Brooklynite's intensely personal songwriting, so much so that certain songs on third album Tramp ("Give Out," "In Line") sound like holdovers from the Epic sessions. Nevertheless, there's a strength in Tramp that suggests Van Etten's ready to step out into the sun, be it in the quaint "We Are Fine" or follow-up "Magic Chords," with its processional snare and playfully confident melodies. Van Etten is in control like never before. "You got to lose, you got to lose, you got to lose sometime," she sings midway through the latter, like someone who knows that particular point's not up for debate. (Wed., 9pm, Stubb's; Thu., 12:35pm, Mohawk Patio)

***.5

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