From: Indie Music [url]
Date: September 6, 2002

Artist: Terami Hirsch
CD: To the Bone (Independent Release)

Home: Los Angeles, California

Style: Techno/Pop

Quote: "The underlying innocence of most of these tracks emerges in her piano playing".

By Jennifer Layton

I'm going to get this part out of the way first: The techno doesn't work. Not with Terami Hirsch’s style of writing.

I reviewed her debut, All Girl Band, a couple of years ago, and I was completely enthralled by the brutal honesty of it. Piano and a voice that was sometimes wicked, sometimes anguished. Along the lines of Tori Amos. This go round, Hirsch has burned off some of the anger and expresses herself in vaguer terms, but the imagery is still vivid. Which is why the artificial sound of techno just doesn't work with it. The electronic drums and fuzzy vocal distortion on tracks like "Stained" and "The River" tend to undermine her attempts to be real.

Getting past that, I do like the lyrical turn Hirsch has taken. Just reading the words from the liner notes is captivating. "Getting dirty on your way to heaven never tasted quite like that. She pulls your strings and you do things like a smiling cheshire cat," she purrs in the opening track. She twists the meaning of "Paperweight," a song actually about feeling so empty that paper weighs her down. Then there’s the intriguing description of conformity in "Sideline Junkies":

I overestimated this capacity for love
Cuz you shrugged it off like a too tight overcoat
When I got too close to the bone....
We were sideline junkies
smitten by the way we could watch but never play...

The underlying innocence of most of these tracks emerges in her piano playing. She turns the notes into the tinkling of a music box, playfully jazzy melodies, and beguiling Middle Eastern tones. The music is alive and flowing over the keys. And that voice is so sensual, so close to the microphone, and still so real when it's not being electronically altered, that I can even hear when she's smiling.

She's currently touring. The mix of music from All Girl Band and To the Bone must be an interesting juxtaposition. It's a show I would definitely check out.