The Grotto (2003) There's nothing cornier than a lank-haired white chick with an acoustic guitar whining about life's and love's inequities, right? Okay, we admit Joni Mitchell is… 2003-03-04 Kristin Hersh
Music Review

The Grotto (2003)

Kristin Hersh | WRITER'S 'GROTTO' Hersh's solo acoustic album rocks our world
Image credit: Kristen Hersh: Brad Miller/Retna
WRITER'S 'GROTTO' Hersh's solo acoustic album rocks our world
EW's GRADE
A-

Details Release Date: Mar 04, 2003; Lead Performance: Kristin Hersh

There's nothing cornier than a lank-haired white chick with an acoustic guitar whining about life's and love's inequities, right? Okay, we admit Joni Mitchell is an exception. So is alt-rock vet Kristin Hersh, who just dropped a corker of a solo acoustic album, The Grotto (4AD/Beggars Group). There's something in Hersh's hushed, otherworldly hymns about dysfunction and off-center mental states that's deeply unsettling -- in all the right ways. ''Snow buries Whitehall/White powdered Nembutal/And I can't think anymore,'' she sings on ''Sno Cat,'' and you know she's felt and lived that chill. Concurrent with ''The Grotto'''s release comes a new, eponymous album by Hersh's band, Throwing Muses. It rocks pretty good, but we'd really rather hear Hersh in stripped-down mode. She's got our vote for the title Ice Queen of Acoustic Ladyland.

Originally posted Mar 14, 2003 Published in issue #700 Mar 14, 2003 Order article reprints