Tara Jane ONeil – A Ways Away

November 22, 2009

Tara Jane ONeil - A Ways Away - K Records (2009)

Looking back as the year’s end approaches, the one record I have always been meaning to write about and never did is this one: “A Ways Away,” by Tara Jane ONeil.

This lp came out in May, and to be honest it’s never moved far from my turntable since. But “A Ways Away” is a quiet album, so I tend to listen to it when I’m in the mood for thinking, not doing. Plus, the overall feeling it evokes is one of fall-turning-into-winter as opposed to spring-turning-into-summer; so perhaps its impact would have seemed more immediate had it come out just now.

But “A Ways Away” is a great album that sinks in over time. ONeil’s expressive guitar work and affecting lyrics make tracks like “Drowning” (which you can hear on her Myspace page) and “A Vertiginous One” outstanding and memorable.

Of course, this comes against the backdrop of an extended period, now spanning nearly two decades, during which ONeil has consistently produced great music and visual art too. Still, “A Ways Away” may just be her best work yet.

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