I was really intrigued by the concept behind this project. Kristin Hersh is more famous for her work with the band Throwing Muses than for her solo work, I think, but this is a really interesting idea. I’d call it more an EP than a single, which is why I’m reviewing it. Anyway, the concept is that Hersh covers four religious songs in a mostly stripped down acoustic style. She covers Big Star’s Jesus Christ, the Carter Family’s Can the Circle Be Unbroken? and the old standard Amazing Grace. The fourth song is one of her own compositions from her time with Throwing Muses, Sinkhole, which tells the tale of a suddenly appearing sinkhole so large that the small town it afflicts views it as an apocalyptic judgment from God for their sin. Amazing Grace is the only misstep here; she changes the melody to put her own spin on it, but the joy of some of these old songs that everyone knows is the melody as much as it is the words, so it really doesn’t work. Her work on the other songs is really, really good though. Sinkhole is a great song that I really loved and she sings Jesus Christ and Can the Circle Be Unbroken? with real sincerity, like a true believer. I don’t think she was, or is, but her sincerity sells the songs perfectly. I really like the idea of putting out an EP that has such a strong conceptual foundation and mixes personal songs with standards and, at under fifteen minutes, it’s a CD that I listened to several times and, yes, sang along with on the standards. I suppose we can call Jesus Christ a standard now? Anyway, I really, really loved this little CD and I figure to hold on to it. Seems like an evergreen and a nice breezy listen. 4 stars.
tl;dr – highly conceptual EP is short, breezy and a pure pleasure as Hersh puts her own spin on singles and strips down the sound for one of her own songs. 4 stars.