:: Dead Daisy site ::
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emm_Gryner Slightly Inaccurate Wikipedia entry here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girl_Versions :: Canoe review ::
GIRL VERSIONS Emm Gryner (Outside Records) After planning this album of covers of 10 male-penned songs as a live effort -- she performed in front of a packed house in Sarnia in March -- Gryner ended up re-recording it in the studio when the tapes went missing. The project, which strangely enough echoes a similar one by Tori Amos called Strange Little Girls (due on Sept. 18), is actually a reworking of Gryner's own idea that began in 1996. She basically reinvents everything as unlikely as Fugazi's Waiting Room to Ozzy Osbourne's Crazy Train as melancholy piano ballads with occasional cello accompaniment. The real pleasure is when she subverts a tune so seemingly sexist as Def Leppard's Pour Some Sugar On Me and turns it into something actually listenable and likable. Similarly pleasant are Gryner's take on Stone Temple Pilots' Big Bang Baby, which is saying something given the dreadful, plodding nature of the original song.
On this collection of diverse covers Toronto's Emm Gryner gets everything just right. Indeed, there's nary a duff track on Girl Versions, which finds the artist giving a healthy dose of perspective to songs written by and associated with men. And not just any men, either--Gryner reinterpets works from men's men like Ozzy Osbourne and the Stone Temple Pilots as well as idealistic punks (Fugazi) and cardigan-wearing indie boys (Death Cab for Cutie). Accompanying herself on piano with occasional cello from Alex McMaster, Gryner--who has sung backup for David Bowie--confidently finds the melodic subtleties in Ozzy's "Crazy Train" and Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar on Me" (who knew?). All the cuts are uniformly strong, but two in particular stand out--Gryner outright steals Thrush Hermit's anthemic rocker "The Day We Hit the Coast" from the Halifax band with a supple vocal that twists the melody into a sweet, lovely ballad. And she gets right to the heart of "Straight to Hell," adding poignancy to the Combat Rock-era Clash song about the legacy of the Vietnam war with stark piano accompaniment and a harrowing vocal. Essential. Essential. - amazon.ca
In 2000, Gryner released Girl Versions, an album of songs by Nick Cave, The Clash, Stone Temple Pilots, Blur and others. The album featured unexpected and sparse ballad arrangements of beloved anthems such as Fugazi's "Waiting Room" and Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar On Me." Girl Versions surprised listeners with its often fervid "female interpretation" of male lyrics and was a subtle, tongue-in-cheek response to the growing notion of "women in music" as a genre, a phenomenon that seemed to infuse the record industry in the late 90's. Girl Versions was nominated for Best Pop Album of the Year at Canada's Juno Awards. - cdbaby.com