An album that possesses an easy grace that defies any accusations of pretension

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Album Review: Anaïs Mitchell - 'Hadestown' (Righteous Babe)


Album Review: Anaïs Mitchell – ‘Hadestown’ (Righteous Babe)

It’s difficult to greet the terms ‘folk opera’ and ‘concept album’ with anything but the skin-crawling revulsion usually reserved for headlines about ‘Broken Britain’. Particularly so when they concern a rather portentous sounding retelling of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice transported to Depression-era New Orleans. But [b]Anaïs Mitchell[/b]’s [b]‘Hadestown’[/b] allays any potential awfulness with an easy grace that defies any accusations of pretension. Anaïs plays Eurydice, her naïve hiccupy tones contrasting gorgeously with [b]Ani DiFranco[/b]’s sagacious turn as her mother, Persephone. [b]Bon Iver[/b]’s Justin Vernon was surely born to play Orpheus, whose lovelorn song broke Hades’ malignant soul. It’s nothing short of incredible, whether you extract individual tracks like [b]‘Wedding Song’[/b] – where Eurydice worries about money while Orpheus looks to the trees for solutions – or listen to the endearing tale as an artfully rollicking whole. Mitchell has always been good, but ‘Hadestown’ is her Odyssey.

[b]Laura Snapes[/b]

Click here to get your copy of Anaïs Mitchell’s ‘Hadestown’ from the Rough Trade shop