|Poe - Haunted|
|Music Disc Reviews Audio CD|
|Written by Brian Kahn|
|Tuesday, 31 October 2000|
Atlantic Records, 2000
| Performance 7 | Sound 7 |
Haunted is Poe’s first album since her 1995 debut Hello, which featured the hit "Angry Johnny." The long wait between albums brought some notable changes. Her songs are now much stronger as a whole. The most obvious difference between the two albums is that Haunted is a theme album about, you guessed it, being haunted.
As Poe’s first album with songs related to one another by content, Haunted could not have been a more appropriate title. Poe based her own stage name on the macabre writer Edgar Allen Poe. Thoughts of ghosts and the supernatural are conjured up throughout the album, from the haunted-house introduction to the interludes and the lyrics themselves. Poe’s lyrics have always had spiritual overtones and seen to emanate from a place that is not of this earth. The songs on Haunted and much more cohesive than on Hello, indicating a more focused artist at work.
Throughout the album, Poe details her struggle coming to terms with her father’s death. It’s almost as if the listener is allowed to be a fly on the wall in a therapy session as we hear personal things that Poe needed to come to terms with and probably never discussed with her father. This is especially evident in the songs "Control" and "Not a Virgin." In the former, the lyrics indicate a woman who needs to move forward to control her own life, and in the latter it is evident that Poe has indeed moved forward, strengthened by her experiences and able to deal with whatever the world has to offer.
Haunted does not feature a standout single as did Hello, but instead offers an album full of stronger songs. This is not to say that there are no stand-out cuts. I found "Walk the Walk" to be one of my favorites, with a good fast-paced beat and lyrics espousing independence and freedom. Sonically, the album seems to be fairly well recorded, with no harsh high end to detract from the mood Poe works so hard to achieve. Overall, I found the album to be a good listen throughout, with a good mix of tempos and a few shining moments.