Apr 122006
Authors: Hailey McDonald

I am convinced there is not nearly enough man-hating, independence-oriented, anti-oppressive lady music in the world. To expand this genre, the industry welcomes Sierra Swan. Adorned with a nose hoop and a plethora of black eyeliner, this beautiful but oh-so-angry young woman has joined the likes of Tori Amos, Fiona Apple, Ani DiFranco and Alanis Morrisette.

Like the long-time famous aforementioned stars, Swan attempts to approach an alternative sound with enough twists to make her stand out from the pack. However talented, Miss Swan is going to have a hard time trumping the solid paths already laid by Alanis and Fiona with her new album “Ladyland.”

“Ladyland” has everything you would expect from an artist like Swan. It’s an album relying heavily on lyrics accompanied by a husky voice, acoustic guitar and piano. The lyrics, while sometimes inspirational, contain phrases like “I wouldn’t hate the world if it would recognize my vulnerable feelings.”

The inside of the album cover reads, “Honesty, strength and self realization are just a few of the personal themes that inspire the dynamic and unpredictable music of Sierra Swan. They also set the emotional groundwork for her debut album, which is a lyrically charged and cinematic testament to both feminine strength and tender vulnerability.” If that doesn’t get the point across, this will – ladies around the world unite in order to ban high heels and razors and to communally feast upon gallons and gallons of Ben & Jerry’s.

Songs like “Lucky Scar” and “Copper Red” would be excellent shower ballads, while others are easy enough listening for driving and walking around campus. The haunting track “Mother” left the longest resonating impression upon me. Using a combination of strings and extremely simple piano melodies, Swan’s voice pierces the ears with emotion and leaves a yearning for the rest of the album to be as eerily intriguing.

Swan is in no drought of aptitude for music, but her style might not be for everyone. Her potential to develop into a full-blown feminist icon is not an unrealistic notion, but for now she’ll probably remain pleasing a select crowd with fairly polar musical tastes.

Hailey McDonald can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com

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