Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 18, No. 51, Ed. 1 Friday, April 19, 2002 Page: 55 of 76
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With Deep Natural, Michelle Shocked fuses a stunning congregation of
musical genres with her brand of pop-folk-rock-funk-blues-reggae.
surprising. French duo Modjo's turn on
"People in The City," one of the better tracks
on 10,000 Hz Legend, is also one of the best
tracks on this record. The slowly brewing orig-
inal is here transformed into a silky Brazilian
jazz track, and is surprisingly well adapted for
The enhanced CD version of Everybody
Hertz also includes a video, a live recording of
"People in The City," which again calls into
question whether 10,000 Hz Legend was per-
haps not swept under the rug too quickly. If
nothing else, Everybody Hertz may encourage
fans to revisit 10,000 Hz Legend. Perhaps more
inspirational than they should be at this point,
Air's songs prove to be a great jumping-off
point for talented DJs. Everybody Hertz may not
be required listening, but it nonetheless proves
the worthiness of its material.
Deep Natural/Dub Natural
Gritty, rootsy, soul
bearing, definitely a
Michelle Shocked has
always flexed her fiery,
Even when the
University of Texas
grad was a main-
stream talent signed to
Mercury Records, her
passion was always
D * e p N « f u r <s |
songwriting and remarkable musicianship.
Now that she's completely eschewed big-busi-
ness influence from her artistry — using the
13th "anti-slavery" amendment, Shocked sued
and now owns her entire catalog — the folk
heroine returns to the musical forefront with a
double-album that fuses her East Texan roots
with gospel melodies all filtered through a
space-age reggae soundboard.
The battles against corporate brass certain-
ly didn't destroy her creativity. Since her last
major-release album, Arkansas Traveler (1992),
Shocked wrote a song cycle while she lived in
New Orleans and quietly worked on environ-
mental justice concerns. She then embarked on
journeys through Guatemala and Mexico writ-
ing "border ballads" along the way. Asked to
perform a set of New York City millennium
shows, she and Irish guitarist Fiachana
O'Braonain wrote 30 songs in 30 days, which
she spent the next year touring the new mate-
rial before heading back into the studio. The
result is a solidly crafted thought-provoking
journey that travels through the campfires of
Texas folk and bass-heavy Jamaican dubs and
safely lands in unexplored musical territory.
Most of it sounds mighty fine, too.
She opens with "Joy," a haunting call-to-
arms a cappella that's seamlessly woven into
"What Can I Say," where Shocked showboats
her knack for swinging in time with a soulful
calypso beat. Lovingly reverberated steel gui-
tars paint a dreamy landscape over the hymnal
"Why Do 1 Get the
Feeling?" as Shocked
whispers sultry, aching
testimonies. On the rest
of the first disc, Deep
Natural, she becomes
even more sentimental,
rages with angry
activism and ultimate-
ly wants everyone to
dance with optimistic
In this new pack-
age, Shocked has
included, Dub Natural,
an ancillary but completely unnecessary 13-
song disc that primarily features the first disc's
instrumentation. Some background vocals are
included, but Shocked's lyricism and charis-
matic voice are almost totally absent. If any-
thing, the second helping of tunes will make
listeners lonely for Shocked's performance and
they'll trade out the discs and start back at
Deep Natural's joyful beginning. V
— Daniel A. Kusner
■ w.-. i
Sbff/iez qA (<///
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1900 W. Division, Arlington, TX
APRIL 19, 2002
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Vercher, Dennis. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 18, No. 51, Ed. 1 Friday, April 19, 2002, newspaper, April 19, 2002; Dallas, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth616133/m1/55/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=client&utm_content=ark_sidebar&utm_campaign=ark_permanent: accessed August 12, 2022), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.