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

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Kestrel - Kestrel – Here's another mid-70s British prog rock albums with Mellotron and sounding like Fruupp, Spring, Fantasy, and all those I mentioned in the Cressida review. Here is where the music gets a bit too...  (1993) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues