So earthen is Gigi Dover's singing that it might be echoing through canyons on the seven continents right now, with or without her involvement. But at the base of her voice is an underground welt — some sort of cosmic canker. On her new CD, Nouveau, she collaborates with her backing band the Big Love. The noise they create collectively is a slow maelstrom of what might be called "Progressive Country," but it moves way beyond that by merging Hindu strums, electric hums, a bit of reggae, soft jazz, and island rhythms into a continuous silk susurrus that may well be Mother Nature's vibrato. The songs cover all the most important terrestrial matters, including morning dew, deep love, liquid sunshine, Crazy Molly, and treacherous lovers. We're guided through this retinue by Dover: Imagine a seductive, subtle tour guide with long black hair, serenading us at every stop, never flinching no matter what she's singing about. Most interesting about her voice is the mystery — she's hiding something, and so is the band, but to be let in on the secret you have to perform as a listener. The song "Everybody Knows, Nobody Tells Me" is a metaphysical cock tease and maybe a justification for social paranoia, and "Suburban Lady" is a pleasure to ponder and absorb. The track is perfectly ambiguous. For what? Dover might know, but she'd rather hint than tell.
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