Turning up

By JON GARELICK  |  May 29, 2007

The production effects, the smooth moodiness, would make you think this is a headphone album, but that’s another paradox: Keren Ann sounds better on stereo speakers, in room space, not headspace. And though it’s intimate, the best way to hear it is the way you listen to QOTSA or the Rolling Stones: loud, so all those layers, all that space, envelops you. There were times in digesting all three of Keren Ann’s albums when I’d begin to feel drugged — the initial euphoria of a painkiller drug turning into a downer. But then the wit of those doubled handclaps on “Lay Your Head Down” would make me laugh. Or I’d get carried off on the final backing-choir ecstasy of “Between the Flatland and the Caspian Sea.” Or I’d laugh again at the sped-up-to-pitch bass of the final, mostly instrumental dance track, “Caspian,” with its overdubbed “la-la-la-la” melody. And I’d remember: there are no rules.

KEREN ANN + JASON HART | Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Square, Somerville | June 2 at 8 pm | 617.876.4275

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