Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Off-Genre: Wiggley Fingers

Patty Griffin: Wiggley Fingers


Last time I mentioned Patty Griffin's sophomore album Flaming Red here in these pages, it led to an interesting debate between contributors about the value of the album as a touchstone for the singer-songwriter's evolution. And like Nelson's spouse, I agree that there's much to love about the first half of that album, though I find the songs from it more palatable in their live and stripped-down form.

But love it or hate it, there's no denying that late-album track Wiggley Fingers is a full-blown departure for Griffin, even more than the rest of the heavily-produced album in question. If it weren't for that distinctive voice straining to come clear through the sonic haze, and the oddly, dischordantly Catholic-schoolgirl-esque lyrical impressions under all that bombast, it would be easier to imagine this driving, heavily electronic, beat-heavy track in the hands and voice of a blazing country rocker in full-blown light-show prance-around encore mode. Or even in the sexualized, radio-ready hands of a modern poprock diva, like Pink, Madonna, or Ke$ha - wherein it would sound just right, come to think of it. Check it out, yo.

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