Place continues the "western noir" ambience of the Tarnation recordings Gentle Creatures and Mirador, albeit in a much more unadorned fashion. Some old Tarnation favorites are (re-)presented in skeletal form: The gothic chiller "The Hand," previously heard as an ominous impending-storm rocker, sounds even more eerie and sinister in this slower, sparser incarnation; the aching "Game of Broken Hearts," also from the Tarnation catalog, appears as an enhanced video track.
But don't get the idea that Place is merely a walk down memory lane. There are a few new songs here: The simple, spellbinding "Taken," a chilling lament for lost innocence, is driven along by spare acoustic guitar and gossamer keyboards, and is sung with the infinite regret of a fallen angel; on "We Met by the Love-Lies-Bleeding," Frazer is her own chorus, with layers of her disembodied voice sighing and wailing like ghosts trying to get a warning to the living; the galloping-cowboy cadence of "An Awful Shade of Blue" evokes the cinematic morality plays of the Ennio Morricone-scored spaghetti westerns. Admittedly, this album's nonstop gothic mood can become a bit numbing if consumed in one sitting, but taken in small doses, A Place Where I Know is as fine a soundtrack for disconsolate, haunted contemplation as one is likely to find.