Catching A Tiger is an album that's always moving, preoccupied with love, family, creation of art, and the relationships that bind them. Through the varied emotive contexts of bluesy riffs and folk balladeering, Lissie can tell a story about herself while blurring the details... the tall tale of the record adds color without sacrificing the sincerity. Plus the extremely nimble pipes of Lissie act as a conductor, electrifying everything around her, elevating the songs from exciting to memorable. Her voice is the centerpiece of the record, and it coats even the most black and white tracks in vibrant, vivid color.
Those familiar with Lissie will find more of the same, her ability to add chantable hooks to nearly every song remains sturdily in tact. Those unfamiliar might be shocked to find the finer points of her voice are what make Catching A Tiger such an enjoyable listen, but that is Lissie; in your face in the best possible way.
Take "In Sleep", a combination of a swift tempo, a simple conceit (separated from physical love), and a strong hook. An important component of the song's haunting melody is the smokiness of the voice, and the nuanced inflections of each cry. But the song stands alone as a jammy number. Now take "Bully", a less exciting track instrumentally, and see how Lissie elevates it. Her voice alone really brings the song to life, again and again, throughout the song and eventually, the record.
Speaking of the genre, Lisse brings standard delicious fare to the table... great songs and a strong, tightly knit band with the sensibility to fill in the blank spaces. But that is what you get for Lissie and her bluesy demeanour, a bunch of musicians, happy to back up a powerhouse voice and a sweet disposition. For most, enjoying this will be like catching an inanimate object. But for those dissenters, catch this tiger, and you'll be glad you gave chase. -joe puglisi
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MP3: "In Sleep"
Lissie on Myspace
Lissie at the Guest Apartment
An Interview With Lissie (8/2010)