Exposé Online banner

Lili Haydn — Lili
(Atlantic 83027-2, 1997, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 1999-01-01

Lili Cover artIt was February when I bought this on a whim, and it only took a few listens for me to revise my Best of 97 list to include it. Lili Haydn is a violinist of great talent. She’s apparently been doing the rounds as a session player for years, but this is her first release under her own name, and it’s an amazingly self-assured and unique collection. Stylistically it runs from ethereal vocalizing with quiet accompaniment to thunderous jagged electric riffs, from pretty pseudo-classical instrumentals to Middle Eastern warbling over crashing rock guitars. Through it all, her expressive violin adds an emotional grounding. At various times on the disc I find bits of Kate Bush (a light vocal touch not afraid to growl), Led Zeppelin (the interplay of bass-drums-guitar), Nirvana (the contrast of soft and loud),and even Gentle Giant (some great wah-wah violin). As a further bonus, the lyrics are quite good, covering topics from homeless teens and child abuse to hopeless relationships. The thematic suite consisting of “Baby,” “Mama,” and “Daddy” provides a central core to the album. “Mama” in particular, with its poignant portrait of a woman in an abusive relationship (“Mama, why do we go back for more even when we’re curled up on the floor from blows that we’ve endured?”), provides a kind of catharsis that moves even someone who’s never been near a similar situation.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 16, 1997 releases

Related artist(s): Toss Panos, Lili Haydn

Latest news

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Zao - Ethnic-3 Live – Since the band was founded in the early 70s by ex-Magma members François Cahen (piano) and Yochk'o Seffer (saxes), theirs has been a constant evolutionary path, with no two consecutive Zao...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues