Picks and Pans Review: Indigo Girls

updated 03/27/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/27/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

The Indigo Girls

On their major-label debut album, this female duo from Atlanta unveils a striking style. Their basic stance is folkie, acoustic and unpercussive. The seamless harmonies of Amy Ray and Emily Saliers often have a country feel, though the singers deliver with rock-and-roll intensity. The ladies write separately, and on this album, at least, Saliers has come up with the winners: "Closer to Fine" and "Prince of Darkness." The latter, with its lyrics and melody, echoes Jackson Browne's old composition, "Something Fine." Saliers's one fault is that she imposes too much meaning on her verses, as in "Love's Recovery": "Feeding the cancer of my intellect the blood of love soon neglected/ Lay dying in the strength of its impurity." Ray has the better voice, a husky quality that sounds like Debra Winger, if she were a songbird. Despite the musical contributions of R.E.M. and Hothouse Flowers, the overriding seriousness of tone on Indigo Girls makes listening to it in one sitting a rather grim experience. A sampling of the Indigo Girls' heady potion is certainly more satisfying. (Epic)

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