CD REVIEW: Devon – Long Sleeve Story
By Ben Ohmart - 10/20/2001 - 03:08 PM EDT
Album: Long Sleeve Story
There’s a famous porn star by the name of Devon. This isn’t she. No, THIS Devon’s talent lies in a different direction. She’s only 18, but has emotional instability like the grown-ups already, giving out a voice fickle with ups and downs, much like Janis Joplin following her inner voice. Whereas most people are told to sing from the diaphragm, Devon has taken it a step further and digs up the very roots of her soul and slowly and painfully brings it out in the open to share with everyone.
This is her 2nd album. She began playing in the mall in Charlottesville, VA at the ripe ol’ age of 15, and already has the confidence and songwriting skills of a vet, semi-fresh from the rancid war of relationships and life. Produced by the bass player from The Dave Matthews Band, the music is fresh and well-recorded. The genre is more alternative acoustic, influenced by hybrids of the 90s and beliefs – strong ones – of the 60s.
‘There is not a vast difference between what I write in my journal and what comes out onstage,’ explains Devon. Yeah, these dramatic readings, singings mean a lot to the girl. One of the best has to be ‘Sleep Satisfied,’ and I wish there were lyrics in the booklet so I could quote. This song has some mega-Joplin moments, the way she imports her whole psyche into the loud banging of the acoustic guitar against the splashy drums, begging the constant question, do you sleep satisfied?
Already with write-ups in The New Yorker, and having a previous 7k selling album, Devon only has one compass direction to continue in. Up, of course.
Long Sleeve Story is like a soundtrack to The Real World or Survivor if you had to do the whole thing through song only. It’s not a cd for greedy or selfish people; won’t be able to get into it. You have to really Care about the personal hells, heavens and thoughts of another to see all the striking colors that emerge here.
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