March 18, 2004

Test Spin: Indigo Girls

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As their song “Tether” climaxes, the Indigo Girls ask, “can we bring it together? Are you true believers?” Just then, Emily Saliers’s guitar spirals into a fiery, feeling solo, and you have but one thought: yes.

The Indigo Girls’ eighth studio album, All That We Let In, attests to the band’s ever-evolving capabilities to write personal, alluring, and insightful music. The new album retains the Girls’ definitive pop-folk sound but revamps it, reinterprets it, and re-presents it in a fresh, energetic way.

Fifteen years since their debut, the Indigo Girls still manage to experiment and innovate: the second track on the album, “Heartache For Everyone,” borrows a reggae guitar riff and inflects it with the Girls’ authentic down-home, folk sound. Still, the most prominent (and impressive) sound on All That We Let In is, simply enough, Amy and Emily’s voices. Forceful at times and gentle at others, the Indigo Girls’ vocals — their full, stirring harmonies — give the album an uncompromising sincerity.

Lyrically, All That We Let In displays the kind of openness that has built the Indigo Girls’ enduringly loyal fan-base. Anecdotal, honest, and unashamed, the album exhibits maturity and confidence by merging diary-entry poetry with refined, tailored lyrics, affording the album a certain genuineness.

Even after over a decade in the unpredictable industry, the new album displays, once again, that you can trust the Indigo Girls to put out an emotionally (and politically) charged, perceptive, and artful record.

Archived article by Lynne Feely