Sunday, May 17, 2009

Guest Stars: Galileo

Indigo Girls: Galileo


I was an active Indigo Girls fan throughout my teen years, and well into my late adolescent protogrunge period; though their first album Strange Fire and their subsequent major-label self-titled debut remain the gold standard for their dark acoustic alternative folk, in many ways, 1992 release Rites of Passage, which many ex-fans mark as the beginning of the end, was also the best of their subsequent high-production albums, most notably for the tight harmonies, full band orchestration, and percussive rhythms that pepper the disk.

My two favorite songs on that album, the one above and album denoument Let It Be Me, feature especially rich vocal mixes, starring the distinctive backup tones of both Jackson Browne and David Crosby. Their presence in the tracks themselves is light and sparse -- that's Browne on the three part harmony, and Crosby on the faint frills between the lines -- but the addition of such elder statesmen into the mix makes all the difference.

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