Record Review - 4 June 19 2003

There is a desperate quality to Lisa Germano's music, with its melancholy bent and relentless exploration of inner turmoil. It's a mixture of masochism and self-kindness, bathed in melodies of stark beauty. On "Into the Night," a track from the new Lullaby for Liquid Pig, Germano sings of "seeing your sins" — like being suspended overhead, watching yourself in the drunk-tank of existence.

Germano calls this album a lullaby, but it comes across like a journal of despair soaked in liquor. The album was written during a period of isolation, away from the business of music and without so much as a contract. She has her own peculiar method of constructing a song, toiling in solitude, trying unfamiliar instruments and equipment, putting together chords and lyrics, sound and production all at once. By combining differing elements within each song, she achieves an overall sense of improvisation.

The title track bluntly and poetically states the author's frame of mind: "I need a fix/A little one/And then it's over/Then I'm done." Yet despite the chronic sadness that permeates these songs, many of the lyrics offer more than a hint of hope. "To Dream" finishes the album with the words: "This is who you are/You don't have to run away."

Germano's recordings are an exercise in introspection, looking askance at her foibles and facing the dichotomies — even if the vision is a little blurry.

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