Elysian Fields Queen of the Meadow (Jetset)
Queen of the Meadow (Jetset)
Reviewed by Marc Savlov, Fri., Oct. 13, 2000
Queen of the Meadow (Jetset)Jennifer Charles, the voice behind NYC loungeoids Elysian Fields, has a throat full of honey, and she's not afraid to use it. Just watch out for the bees. Along with her partner, guitarist Oren Bloedow, Charles wields some of the most flammable torch songs since Jessica Rabbit. That may be an odd comparison to some, but listening to the 11 heartsick croonings that make up Queen of the Meadow, one can't help but think Charles might be doubly served by taking on John Lurie and his Lounge Lizards: her haunting, haunted, 2am dollops of urban sorrow click with that actor/musician's strange, Jarmusch-esque noodlings. It would put the the Fabulous Baker Boys to shame, but surely, Lurie would have none of it. Instead, Elysian Fields' draggy, druggy offering is perfectly suited to both late-night heartache and first-date impression-making. The up-tempo (for them) "Bend Your Mind" offers a little Farfisa to lighten the mood, while the plodding "Fright Night" enters into Portishead territory and then goes that Bristol duo one better in the bad-vibes department. You can just see Charles draping her emaciated frame over a coffin-shaped baby-grand, while Bloedow idly plucks at an upright bass in the shadows. Mordantly gloomy stuff, and oh so perfect for a chill October evening. Merlot and Gauloises not included.