Patti Griffin's ability to pen a great tune isn't in question as so many other artists record her songs. She's a fine singer in her own right, great for subtle nuances and heart aching laments. Her faster rocking tunes maybe a tad beyond her range, though on her release "American Kid" the song "Please Don't Let Me Die in Florida" is one of the stronger offerings. A few traditionally styled songs like "Get Ready Marie" seem out of place next to her songs of disillusionment and shadows. Certainly "Not a Bad Man" with the lines, "Got some pills to get my head right/They don't work so well/So I drank a little more tonight/and here is where I fell" tell of hard-fought inner struggles. "Faithful Son" and "That Kind of Lonely" weave poetry from the wear and tear of life with "Every strand has come unwound/Every heart is all worn down." Even her love songs are bittersweet bordering on sorrowful, both sung with her current significant other, Robert Plant. (That's right, the vocalist from Led Zeppelin!) The somber tone in the line "My love is the water and it's stronger and deeper than time," gives gravity to sophisticated relationships compared to frothy teen odes of highflying infatuation. "American Kid" is worth a listen for those who like their introspection accompanied by acoustic guitars and the voice of a mournful angel.
--Cindy F., Headquarters