YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


A low-voltage Viers mines her repertoire

November 17, 2005|Richard Cromelin | Times Staff Writer

LAURA VIERS was a geology student before becoming a full-time singer-songwriter, a reminder that music is best left to poets, not scientists.

On her current album, "Year of Meteors" (her second for the connoisseur-targeting Nonesuch label), the Seattle-based performer milks the metaphors of nature for all they're worth, with galaxies pouring out of her eyes and a lover spelunking in the caverns of her heart.

At Spaceland on Tuesday, Viers and her three backing musicians made the most of the spare, art-folk arrangements that carry her imagery, replacing the album's meticulousness with some loose aggression. Their best tunes, especially "Galaxies," with its recurring little instrumental hook, have an indie-rock catchiness (dreamy division), and in a solo segment Viers connected with the spirit of mountain balladry.

But the performance was still too restrained to generate real passion, and the songs are too ordinary to yield any emotional discovery. If you caught this act at the corner coffeehouse it might seem decent enough, but it has a way to go before it nears the creative center of alternative pop.

Still, the singer's tour is riding on a bit of a buzz, brandishing some drum-beating reviews from Europe and a reputation as one of the "finds" at Austin's South by Southwest independent music convention. Maybe it was something in the H2O.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday November 19, 2005 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 0 inches; 20 words Type of Material: Correction
Laura Veirs -- A review in Thursday's Calendar Weekend section misspelled the last name of singer-songwriter Laura Veirs as Viers.

Los Angeles Times Articles