Lisa Germano views life from its ragged edges, and sends back her dispatches as gossamer whispers wrapped in wine-soaked irony. Startling by virtue of its simplicity, her music wafts dreamily through dimly lit corridors inhabited by demons we’d rather not face. She’s so beguiling, speaking like a waif, her voice punctuated by an almost random piano or discordant calliope, it takes a moment to realize these are cautionary tales born of confession.
The beauty of Germano’s work doesn’t lie in lyrics couched in regret or redemption — it’s in her almost whimsical resignation to whatever particular hell she may be observing. Her last CD, In the Maybe World, was one of the best (and one of the more obscure) albums of 2006. It masterfully dealt with finality, or more exactly, that transcendent area between the dimensions of life and death. Quiet and haunting, it was an oddly optimistic work that was never intended to broach the top forty. Critics, myself included, largely praised it, but it found only a limited audience.
The reissue of 2003’s Lullaby for Liquid Pig represents something of a prologue to In the Maybe World, as well as explaining what could have been perceived as a nearly eight year gap between Germano’s recordings. Originally released on the ARTISTdirect imprint, it received glowing reviews at the time. However, the label shut down shortly after, and the album went out of print and into obscurity. Fortunately, Young God, Germano’s current label, has re-released it in a handsome 2-disc package that includes home recordings and live performances.
Lullaby for Liquid Pig, like the later In the Maybe World, is a themed album. But where the latter dealt with finality, Pig explores obsession and addiction in its various incarnations. It’s not that she’s seeking redemption — it’s more like she’s inviting guests into her parlor to share a drink and reminisce about mutual frailties. It’s my favorite feeling/not there .what a good place to be/too bad it’s still raining inside, she quietly giggles against a wash of little girl music boxes on “Candy,” celebrating her relationship with alcohol, but lamenting at the close, “too bad I got nowhere today.” She shrugs it off, leaving us feeling a bit awkward, but fascinated by her candor.