Ron's Picks: Stephanie Schneiderman's Rubber Teardrop
There seems to be a whole lot of "fusing" going on these days. In fact, there doesn't seem to be much interest in standing on solid and familiar ground. And, honestly, can we call this a bad thing? What if The Stones hadn't held onto their Chicago blues love, while creating pop hits that stirred up an entire generation? Or if Cee Lo hadn't added the Green, and only stuck to dirty south style hip hop? We'd definitely be missing out. And we might have been able simply look past the shoegaze goddess Stephanie Schneiderman and her delightful trip-hop/folk (how's that for "fusing") and her intriguing album Rubber Teardrops.
Schneiderman's vocals are most definitely demanding of well deserved auditory attention. And the songs she writes are obscurely beautiful as they drifter over electronic beats and a modest amount of fuzz and latitude meets longitude sense of folk transparency. It is down in the play list when things slow down from the dancematic beginnings, into a soft bit of beautiful melodrama. This is where Rubber Teardrop's true colors begin to come to light. And while the sweet and sensual original tracks like "Avalon" and "Hush Now (Remix)" are obviously highlights, there is one track that will absolutely drop you to your knees. It is Stephanie's cover of "Between The Bars" that puts this album completely over the top. You have never heard Elliot Smith like this before.
Within the fusing, the madness, the complete and utterly confusing (in a good way) mix of transparency that was fore mentioned, there is also a common and gentle bond with the deepest of human emotions scattered about the album's track list. Love is present, as to be expected. But, the love expressed within Schneiderman's lyrics is of the up most respectable type. It's the coffee the morning after sort of love. As well as the secret disposal of a previous nights Romanticisms. It's as if Rubber Teardrop is simply a throwing stone for this songstress's everlasting search for peace of mind, and the also never ending process of taming the beast of fortitude and luxury that we will probably never get over. No emotion is barred. No derogatory stone is left unturned. This is human experience in the greatest musical sense imaginable. This is good stuff.
Check out the entire album at http://www.stephanieschneiderman.com/