Picks and Pans Review: Swamp Ophelia

UPDATED 05/09/1994 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 05/09/1994 at 01:00 AM EDT

Indigo Girls

The mood Indigo is increasingly bold and assertive. The sixth album from this Atlanta duo evinces little of the gentleness and passivity we have come to associate with folk music. But then Emily Saliers and Amy Ray have always had a distinctive knack for investing prettiness with passion. This time even their acoustic guitar strumming is emphatic. Though their lyrics continue to focus on personal issues like self-discovery the fervor with which they sing makes everything sound like protest songs. All that heightened drama can gel wearisome, so the rare softer songs, like "Fare Thee Well," are a welcome ameliorator. But since it's clear the Indigo Girls come by their ardor honestly, let's toast them: Hail to thee, fiery spirits; fragile folk birds thou never wert. (Epic)

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