What's the Only Thing Worse Than the End of Time
Rolling Stone 11.09.02 Review of What's the Only Thing Worse Than the End of Time? There's a theory that certain musical frequencies affect people emotionally. Katell Keineg has found them. It's damn near impossible to listen to her earthy and ethereal voice without feeling the spirit move you. The Franco-Welsh (she sings in English, but old-world Europe oozes from her throaty croon and gracefully gangly limbs) singer/songwriter's latest effort, the EP What's the Only Thing Worse Than the End of Time?, is a brief testament to her power to permeate. The standouts are a chilling live version of Nick Drake's 'River Man' (Keineg is especially powerful onstage) and the celebratory 'Beautiful Day,' which sounds like a chance meeting between a Sixties-pop melody line and a white girl on a Caribbean island. What's the Only Thing seems to embody both of those worlds, suggesting that Keineg's travels over the past five years, during which she was AWOL from the studio, helped her find a balance between her poetic roots and pop sensibility. If What's the Only Thing is any indication of what is to come from Keineg, prepare to be seriously hooked by her frequencies. Time Magazine "Folksy and hypnotic" Newsweek Magazine "Katell Keineg's new album, 'Jet', meshes rock muscularity and heady emotionalism. We haven't graduated to the literary complexity of the 51/2-minute opus 'Battle of the Trees' yet, but we know a good riff when we hear one; by the time the song sweeps into it's exquisitely layered crescendo, we're deep inside." The New York Times "Katell Keineg has a voice so charged with feeling that it lifts everything she sings to the level of a primal wail" The Times (London) "Keineg is a singer and songwriter who gains her power by juxtaposing ugly with beautiful and then letting the two battle it out for ascendancy." New Yorker "The voice of Katell Keineg is a beautiful and wild force of nature" The Irish Times "... it was Katell Keineg's slow-burning fuse, igniting on her magnificent 'The Gulf Of Araby', that truly captured the essence of (Victor) Jara." Tom Moon, National Public Radio (US) " Here are wildly inspired songs filled with literate and mystical images, songs that aspire to the sprawl and sweep of epic novels." The Guardian "Keineg's quirky compositions, infused with a haunting, ethereal quality, are something entirely of her own creation. The haunting becomes almost literal on 'Leonor', a jaunty setting of a Guardian obituary of the Surrealist painter Leonor Fini." The Vancouver Sun "Truly weird" LA Times "Conveying a nearly beatific sense of joy in performance" The Independent (UK) "Spacious and spooky" NME "The arrangement of the song (Mama, You've Been On My Mind), leaves everybody in bits. There's no instruments involved, which is something Sinead (O' Connor) has done in the past, but now she's got Katell Keineg singing in a heavenly counterpoint - exotic and sad like nothing I've heard before." The Philadelphia Inquirer "Keineg's best work -- the transfixing inventory of wild hope, 'The Gulf Of Araby,' the bitter 'Franklin' -- exhibits a poignancy we don't hear much any more. NY Magazine "... a voraciously poetic sense of language." Musician Magazine "More than a well-crafted piece of product, 'Jet' will intoxicate anyone who still believes pop music can transcend dreary reality." The San Francisco Chronicle "Katell Keineg defies facile categorization. Fascinated by unlikely instrumentation, Keineg also writes some of the smartest lyrics around." Esquire Magazine The Best Cds You've Never Heard "'Jet' is a weird album; it seems to have been made in a bubble, without any regard for marketing or programming. (It) vexes you like a dream: There's logic to it, but it's buried way down deep" Time Out New York "Katell Keineg is a genre-straddling songwriter and performer - unfortunately, she's so hard to pigeonhole that she's still flying below the radar despite an arresting body of work. Her music, however, remains as strong, sly and beautiful as ever." LA Weekly "'What's The Only Thing Worse Than The End Of Time?' a hypnotically contrapuntal four-song EP featuring a haunting rendition of Nick Drake's 'River Man'. Not bad for her first recording in five years. Our hope is that this time she doesn't find the buzz from the music bizz too 'intoxicating' and wander away like before, just as she was cultivating a small but devoted following among critics and fans with 'O Seasons, O Castles' and 'Jet'."