Honey from the Tombs
(Arts & Crafts)
Message boards have been abuzz for months in anticipation of Amy Millan’s first solo release. And rightly so—her dreamy, hush-toned voice has been one of the catalysts for the Stars’ (and certain Broken Social Scene tracks) success. But anyone expecting a Stars-style release, in the vein of the debut Heart or last year’s Set Yourself on Fire, might be surprised. There are a few pop moments (the single “Skinny Boy,” for one), but this is essentially an acoustic affair, with songs like the opener “Losing You,” the sadly beautiful lament “Pour Me Up Another” or “All the Miles” revealing strong folk and country elements. Themes of love, loss and finding salvation at the bottom of a whiskey glass run strong throughout, written with the same sweet sting we have come to expect. But perhaps the only criticism one could lay at its feet is this: as the result of being pieced together from songs Millan wrote over the last seven years, Honey from the Tombs has a certain disjointed feel and is, though always of quality, less than exciting at times. It is nonetheless a solid and stately offering that begs for Millan to follow up with more, should her other commitments allow.