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New Haunting From a Different Poe

Poe - Haunted
(FEI / Atlantic)
3 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: Feb. 3, 2001

Poe - Haunted

By Tony Bonyata

Dealing with the death of a loved one isn't an easy task. Some people live in denial, while others bury their feelings deep, only to have them resurface later. Then there's singer / songwriter Poe, the New York native who confronts her fears and insecurities over the death of her father, filmmaker Tad Danielewski, face to face on her second album, Haunted.
A few years after her father passed away in 1993, Poe, self-named after gothic-horror author Edgar Allan Poe, discovered a box of cassette-recordings of her father's voice. "Hearing his voice again shook me to my foundation," she admitted. "At first I couldn't bear to listen to him, then I couldn't stop. Finally I began sampling him. It was an eerie process. Had I resurrected a ghost?"
As she was working on Haunted, the follow-up to her debut Hello released 5 years prior, she indeed found that in some strange way she was conversing with the ghost of her father. Weaving his taped conversations throughout the 17 tracks, Poe's album is transformed into a deep, dark concept album that finds her carrying on an eerie, after-life conversation with him.
Aside from the heavy concept cloaking the album, which may leave some with a cold chill, the music is intriguing - seeping deeper into the soul with each listen. With a strong voice that dances over latter day alt-rock, Poe's approach is built on the rock-solid foundation and jarring sonic dissonance of Garbage covered with a sheer Lilith Fair doily.
Songs such as the sexually charged "Hey Pretty," the trip-hoppy "Terrible Thought," and the driving number "Wild" are all filled with colorful dynamics hopping from one emotional freight train to the next, while her pop skills are showcased on the hip and bouncy "Lemon Meringue," and the poetic marriage of words and melody of the longing title track.
Strangely enough, Poe's unfortunate loss has turned into our gain.

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