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Juliette Commagere: Queens Die Proudly

Juliette Commagere: Queens Die Proudly

Release Date:2008

By Raymond Cummings | Posted 10/29/2008

"Queens Die Proudly" hits like keyboard-stand Armageddon, convulsing synthesizer divisions recoiling from just-escaped-a-nightmare mumbo jumbo like "In the morning with sun on to terrorize me/ In the morning with famine on my lips" and "How fearful my visions/ They find me in the moonlight." Somewhere during this post-I Am the World Trade Center melee, though, Juliette Commagere whimpers a lyric that sums up the song's parent album: "I miss you, my dear friend." So overcome with grief that she seems in danger of losing touch with reality, Hello Stranger keytarist/singer Commagere bypasses the seven stages of grief to erect a sonic monument to the late Jessica Kaplan on debut Queens Die Proudly.

On the momentous, courageously defiant "Overcome," she insists that death simply makes the heart grow all the more fond: "Our distance grows and widens, but my heart's the blood that rises/ Spills out my restless eyes, I feel you most when we're divided." Atop the atonal bass clang-a-lang and beneath the eclipsing harmonic whiteout of "Hearts," it's suggested that, psychically, experiences will outlast the physical universe as we know it. Woozy "Nature of Things" strikes a note of somber resignation; "Love, it changes like the moon, like winter bears spring," Commagere rationalizes--savoring each word like a drink of fine cabernet--as ponderous organs and Ry Cooder's inimitable slide guitars set a funereal scene. She can't guarantee Kaplan a permanent place in the living memory, but Queens Die Proudly gets Commagere off to a fine start solo start all the same.

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