Carina Round - Tigermending (Music CD)

Release Date: 10 September 2012
Artist: Carina Round
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"Pick up the phone/I'm pregnant with your baby," Carina Round sings on the opening track of Tigermending, her fourth album and first solo work in six years. It's an attention-getting salvo, one that marks her return as a more self-assured, mature artist than she was on Slow Motion Addict. After spending time touring and recording with Puscifer and her alt-country band the Early Winters, among many other projects, Round seems more, well, rounded on these songs, which balance the intensity of The Disconnection and the pop savvy of Slow Motion Addict, and also take her in entirely new directions. She begins Tigermending with three of its strongest tracks: the aforementioned "Pick Up the Phone," which finds Round at her most sardonic ("There's nothing wrong with me that can't be fixed with a hot bath and a fifth of Mother's Ruin"); "The Last Time," a shadowy, sullen breakup lament with surprising brass flourishes near the end; and "Girl and the Ghost," which begins with some of her most unabashedly pretty vocals and ends with a wild whoop. The rest of Tigermending also makes the most of Round's fascinating chiaroscuro qualities -- she's half sweetness and light, and half darkest nightmares. Listeners never know which side will emerge when; "You Will Be Loved" begins as a ghostly seduction, then gets progressively more infernal, while "Marcel Marcel" goes from moody to ecstatic. Round made Tigermending with a slew of A-list collaborators -- the dourly atmospheric "The Secret of Drowning" alone features Dave Stewart and Brian Eno -- but she's always in full control of the proceedings, a feeling echoed on "Set Fire"'s sophisticated punk: "Everyone here's too far up everyone else/When you find the truth, cut it out with a razorblade." As always, Round is most interesting when she's pushing boundaries, as on the playfully trippy "Weird Dream," but she's just as capable of a more or less straightforward pop song like "You and Me." Tigermending hints that she just might be too eclectic for her own commercial good, but not for the good of listeners willing to follow Round's unpredictable but nearly always successful moves. ~ Heather Phares
Release Date: 10 September 2012
Artist: Carina Round
Catalogue No: DEHISCD004