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Nina Nastasia 

(Fat Cat)

Wednesday, Sep 20 2006
You don't have to have lived in New York City to appreciate Nina Nastasia's fourth album, but it helps. It helps to imagine autumn arriving in Manhattan, that first crisp day when you feel the chill's bite, and those subsequent weeks when the leaves turn colors and fall off, and you walk through Tompkins Square Park, those brown and yellow patches shuffling beneath your feet, on your way to meet someone for really warm, strong, steaming coffee ... you get the idea. This is music for sweater-weather, not too cold, not too warm. Built around simple acoustic guitar chords, the songs are brought to life by expertly minimal percussion and a melancholy piano that sounds a hundred years old, wafting in and out like that chill. But it's Nastasia's voice that keeps you cozy, a thing like brushed silver, glowing beneath the scratches. Once again teaming with engineer Steve Albini and longtime collaborator Kennan Gudjonsson, this New Yorker has just about perfected her aesthetic: faintly gothic tales of urban life, a softly sung attempt to remember what's precious and human amid the thrum of car horns and the slush of the upcoming winter. — Garrett Kamps

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Garrett Kamps


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