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Heidi Saperstein - The Devil I Once Knew

Reviews

Weekly Dig

Sexy spooky songstress Heidi Saperstein has finally made the record we feared she could. The Devil I Once Knew finds her at the height of her powers with strong songs and a spellbinding voice channeled through the keen x-ray ears of producer Andrew Schneider. The results are both luminous and heart rending, catchy and sinuous.

>>> weeklydig.com


Splendid E-zine

At first, I was inclined to dismiss The Devil I Once Knew as some sort of Ani DiFranco-influenced pastiche (with Edie Brickell-esque vocals, no less). While there does seem to be a proliferation of DiFranco imitators cranking out Dilate and Out of Range clones left and right, Saperstein is not one of them. Songs like "Away" and "Big Mama" stand out as particularly catchy, but none stayed in my head as well as the title track. I kid you not -- this song's chorus has been stuck in my head for the past four days. I really need to learn the rest of the song. I'm beginning to drive my co-workers crazy by just singing the same lines over and over and over... -- al

>>> splendidezine.com


Milk Magazine

Saperstein, formerly of Shiva Speedway, has produced here an intriguingly textured record whose basis - raw guitar playing and her impassioned vocals - is somewhat reminiscent of the young P.J. Harvey. Like Harvey, Saperstein's music seems rooted in the blues but avoids bland blues cliches. Saperstein's song structures are varied, and she colors her tracks with a painterly array of hues, including glockenspiel, mellotron, cello, and trumpet. While most tracks burn slowly at an anguished midtempo, "Shakin'" begins with a near-rockabilly feel, although the distant, howling slide guitar that enters later grants the song a note of dread seldom heard in rockabilly. Although Saperstein's vocals are less frenzied than Harvey's, she too is fond of drama: tracks like "The Night" and the second, slower half of "Shakin'" verge on excessive theatricality. But Saperstein's voice remains her own, despite its audible lineage, and on this CD Heidi Saperstein displays enough talent, range, and intensity to make The Devil I Once Knew well worth a listen.

>>> milkmag.com


urbantexture

Miss Heidi Saperstein's album The Devil I Once Knew, from Kimchee Records, is all about her. No offense to the wonderful sounds created by the band to pulsate in the listener's ear. Indeed, it would be impossible to define the album in any other manner. Here you will find a voice as commanding as Alanis and Fiona yet filled with a sweetness comparable to no other. She peaks with concentrated passion, lulls us to a dreamy, sexy state of possibilities, pulls us in each time her voice carries that last syllable, and invites us into her world of love, despair, and the like.

Nothing short of harmonious and alive, this talented siren mesmerizes through beautifully orchestrated rhapsodies.

- Dalanya Bowman

>>> urbantexture.net


24-7

The Devil I Once Knew is, at the very least a challenging effort. Far from your typical sounding female vocalist, Heidi Saperstein (Shiva Speedway), explores a dark world far from the mainstream and takes you on a whimsical musical journey. Opening with the catchy and heartfelt "Away" which along with being the most commercial sounding tune offers some piercing verses to compliment a sweet chorus. The darkness then sets in on the title track as Saperstein sings: "Once when I was five, I kept a man alive, with my crooked little smile..."

From here on in it's all about taste. "Put Our Lips Together" is hauntingly raw and stripped down. "Big Mama" jumps right out at you with some nice guitar and a mighty vocal track. At times like on "Sister 2" and "Lady Killer," Saperstein gets a little too dark for her own good with a dance beat that just doesn't seem to work. She is much more effective with the stripped down raw approach that she reverts back to on "Split Sister." The Devil... is complemented by a host of guests including Thalia Zedek (Come) who adds an even darker vocal track on "Shakin," which with its rootsy upbeat sound, rivals the first two tracks as the CD's best. The Devil closes with the compelling track "The Night" which has some nice trumpet supplied by Jeff Goddard (Karate) along with Saperstein's pulsing guitar that really works well. Overall this is a superb effort by an extremely talented singer/songwriter. (The Jazzer)

>>> digitalartifact.org


Pop Culture Press

With her keening wail and striking good looks, Boston songstress Heidi Saperstein could, if she wanted to, fit easily into the Lilith Fair mode of PCWGWGs (politically correct white girls with guitars). Saperstein isn't coming from the city's well-regarded singer/songwriter scene, however, but its equally famed indie rock circles. She much prefers jagged guitar chords and tension-filled melodies that don't quite resolve to soaring major chord anthems or intimate whispers. Which isn't to say she's not as obsessed with baring her soul as any confessional folkie-she'd just rather make her audience work through painful emotions with her than try to garner sympathy. Her rawboned style is reminiscent of such similar artists as Sinead O' Connor, Patti Smith, and Come's Thalia Zedek, who lends her distinctive vocal talents to "Shakin." The Devil I Once Knew is for all those who want heartfelt confessions served on the end of a sword instead of stapled to a sleeve. (Michael Toland)

>>> popculturepress.com


babysue/LMNOP

Possessing slight similarities to a wide range of other artists...and yet not sounding quite like any other...Heidi Saperstein is approaching music from her own cool perspective. Prior to her solo career, Ms. Saperstein was the singer/guitarist in the Boston band Shiva Speedway (a band we were not familiar with). The songs on The Devil I Once Knew go all over the place. Some tunes are fairly straightforward pop while others have a slight skewed quality that give the listener the feeling that something awkward is going on behind the scenes. Heidi has a vocal style that could very easily be applied to the commercial world of computer generated digital crap that the public seems so hungry for these days. But instead of going the easy route and giving the morons what they want, this young lady is opting to provide music that requires more effort from her listeners. (We always love it when an artist could easily alter their sound to gain more listeners but instead chooses artistic integrity over commercial success.) A word of caution. This disc takes a few listens to sink in, so don't expect to be blown away immediately. With a little patience, however, you will find that there are lots of cool and inviting tracks here. "Away," "Lady Killer," and "The Night" are tops with us. Great stuff. (Rating: 4+)

>>> babysue.com


Delusions of Adequacy

Damn. If Heidi Saperstein once knew a devil, I'd hate to know what she was like then, because she plays like a woman possessed. To say Saperstein is edgy would be an understatement. This woman should be headlining the Lilith Fair, not because she sings about women's pride, but because she has an edge I always thought that all-woman lineup was lacking. In fact, Saperstein is all edge, but she coats it well so it goes down…with just a little discomfort.

Saperstein is a veteran of the Boston music scene, fronting the all-woman band Shiva Speedway for five years and already releasing a solo EP. On The Devil I Once Knew, she's joined by members of Come and Karate as well as others, but the focus is all on her. She plays guitar with a kind of urgent emphasis, and her vocals - a sort of PJ Harvey sung/screeched/crooned cry - are even more emphatic. Her music jumps around a bit, from quieter ballads with acoustic guitar to more powerful, soulful, even slightly bluesy numbers, as well as a few that just rock out, but you never lose the kind of moody, angry edge that makes this album so unique and ultimately enjoyable - generally after a few listens.

We start with her bare-bones vocals and guitar that's a bit daunting, but once the full band sound kicks in, the song takes on a much more pleasing quality, and right away you get a sense of PJ Harvey. I think the real standout is the title track, however, telling the story of the devil she once knew, the devil that's a little bit inside her, to a quieter focus with a more mechanical, slightly Garbage-esque beat and some nice keys and moody bass. There's a hint of gothic tendencies here. Eerie sound effects make a nice backing to the quiet, acoustic "Put Our Lips Together," which contrasts to the powerful, almost soulful "Big Mama," which is all about powerfully strummed guitar and a rolling, rocking feel. This is where Saperstein shines the most, when she uses her unique vocals for a powerful, soulful, almost desperate feel.

The angry, moody strings on "Ten" give the song a more urgent feel, as if Saperstein's voice wasn't enough (which it is, but the strings are a nice touch). There's a more folk, slightly western feel to "Shakin," but don't worry, the moody ambience is still there. This is a really nice track, and it certainly does mix things up. "Sister Slit" goes back to the bass-heavy, edgy feel, although there's the nice addition of piano here, and there's even some trumpet on the closer "The Night." This one probably has the best lyrics and best guitar, with a bit of the more moody Kristin Hersh feel to it. A nice way to close out the album with a more intimate feel.

This is not the easiest album to get through, especially on first or second listen. It takes several listens to get comfortable with Saperstein's unique voice and her kind of jumpy, edgy rock. The quieter songs, which incorporate strings, win me over than the faster ones with a more synthetic beat, but all of these songs are quite good. Saperstein has a good chance to make her name known among female artists with this release.

-- Jeff

>>> adequacy.net


Kick Bright

Unless you're Alanis Morrissette I'm not so big on girl solo artists that don't pour on the cuteness. Heidi hovers nearer the Ani DiFranco side rather than, say, Rose Melberg. So this doesn't catch my attention right away. Heidi performs most of the songs herself. It's pretty raw sounding. She does get random help on just about every song from people like Jeff Goddard from Karate and Thalia Zedek from Come. Reference: PJ Harvey, Ani DiFranco.

>>> kickbright.com


Swizzle Stick

As former vocalist and guitarist for Shiva Speedway, Heidi Saperstein found herself bandless when several of her cohorts decided to go their separate musical directions a year or so ago. Enter the anti-Joan Osborne: she of the clear, strident voice and dark lyrics. Saperstein wasted no time in writing and recording her first solo release, accompanied by members of Boston-area bands Come, Karate and Throttle. The Devil I Once Knew draws on her roots as a noise-rock goddess, guiding the multi-armed force of regeneration and destruction through songs such as the oddly-disturbing "Ten," and a fine, almost bluesy version of "Shakin," performed with Come's Thalia Zedek doing her best Shane McGowan impersonation. Together, the two women sound like a spanking at a tent-revival meeting, a slap in the face to everything holy. Saperstein's edge carries through the rest of the disk, assuring her a place somewhere between Kristin Hersh and P.J. Harvey. (Alyson Mead)

>>> swizzle-stick.com


Collected Sounds

Heidi Saperstein sings like she has molten lava in her veins instead of blood. The intensity of her music is comparable to that of her guest vocalist Thalia Zedek.

Musically her alternative rock wanders into a territory often occupied by PJ Harvey. The title track puts a new spin on the phrase "better the devil you know". "Put Our Lips Toghether" is a sweet love song to someone who "wears a ten gallon hat and a ten gallon smile". Saperstein and Zedek's meeting on "Shakin" is a strong tonic.

This record is not an easy listen but it's beauty makes it worth the time it takes to get into it.

-- Anna Maria Stjarnell

>>> collectedsounds.com


wahine Magazine

As former vocalist and guitarist for Shiva Speedway, Heidi Saperstein found herself bandless when several of her cohorts decided to go their separate musical directions a year or so ago. Enter the anti-Joan Osborne: she of the clear, strident voice and dark lyrics. Saperstein wasted no time in writing and recording her first solo release, accompanied by members of Boston-area bands Come, Karate and Throttle. The Devil I Once Knew draws on her roots as a noise-rock goddess, guiding the multi-armed force of regeneration and destruction through songs such as the oddly disturbing "Ten" and a fine, almost bluesy version of "Shakin," performed with Come’s Thalia Zedek doing her best Shane McGowan impersonation. Together, the two women sound like a spanking at a tent-revival meeting. Saperstein’s edge carries through the rest of the disk, assuring her a place somewhere between Kristin Hersh and P.J. Harvey. (Alyson Mead)

>>> wahinemagazine.com


L'Entrepot

Heidi Saperstein was five years long the leading lady from Shiva Speedway for see started here solo career in 1999.

A rock CD with much feeling and epic pieces and the powerful voice from Heidi. This voice rules the record and that is not always turned out bests. She have a powerful voice, bring the songs with emotion, but here voice sounds a bit monotone what gives that the songs gonna looks like another. They have given much attention to the arrangements and with cello, piano trumpet etc gives she an extra dimension to here songs.

For lovers, a mix from emo and dramatic, Patti Smith sounding songs.

Heidi Saperstein was vijf jaar lang boegbeeld van Shiva Speedway voor ze in 1999 begon aan haar solo carričre.

Een rock CD met veel gevoel en epische stukken en de krachtige stem van Heide. Deze stem beheerst de plaat en dit is niet altijd een voordeel. Ze heeft een krachtige stem, brengt de nummers met gevoel maar de stem is wat te monotoon waardoor de nummers op elkaar gaan lijken. Al is er veel aandacht gegeven aan de arrangementen en wordt er met cello, piano, trompet enz extra diepgang gegeven aan de songs.

Voor de liefhebbers, een mix van emo en dramatische Patti Smith aandoende liederen.

>>> users.skynet.be/entrepot/



Last modified: Friday, 25-Jun-2010 14:16:40 PDT

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