Rites of Passage Even when they address strictly adult concerns — a newfound appreciation for Virginia Woolf, a poet's suicide — the pop-folk Indigo Girls (Emily Saliers and… Rites of Passage Even when they address strictly adult concerns — a newfound appreciation for Virginia Woolf, a poet's suicide — the pop-folk Indigo Girls (Emily Saliers and… Indigo Girls Folk Rock
Music Review

Rites of Passage (1992)

EW's GRADE
B-

Details Lead Performance: Indigo Girls; Genres: Folk, Rock

Even when they address strictly adult concerns — a newfound appreciation for Virginia Woolf, a poet's suicide — the pop-folk Indigo Girls (Emily Saliers and Amy Ray) show a distinctly adolescent sensibility. That works for and against them on their fifth record, Rites of Passage. Some lyrics could have been spawned by classroom assignments: If a 10th-grade English teacher had asked for a love poem with a literary allusion, lines like ''I know now how it feels/To be weakened like Achilles/With you always at my heels'' (''Ghost'') would have earned a scrawled ''Excellent!'' Sometimes the melodies sound too impeccably groomed to spill any real guts. Still, Indigo Girls' honey-blond harmonies are lustrous, and the jangly cheerfulness of ''Galileo'' is almost as charming as a crooked smile laced with braces. Better yet, the vibrant, ragged-edge guitars on ''Chickenman'' and ''Joking'' suggest that they have spent time hangin' with the bad kids in the garage — spending a little more might help loosen the mighty grip of the English teacher. B-

Originally posted May 22, 1992 Published in issue #119 May 22, 1992 Order article reprints