Mia Doi Todd debuted with the solo acoustic albums
The Ewe And The Eye (Xmas, 1997), that included the original version of
Come Out Of Your Mine (Communion, 1999),
two collections that mimicked the style of the lo-fi singer-songwriters of the time,
although the latter already contained The River & the Ocean that hinted
at her philosophical concerns and progressive dynamics.
Independence Day and Hijikata first appeared on the latter
Relocating to her native Los Angeles, she crafted another mostly acoustic album,
Zeroone (City Zen, 2001), a much more ambitious work that included
lengthy and cryptic meditations such as Digital and Can I,
besides the shorter but no less intense
Merry Me, Like a Knife, and Poppy Fields,
that evoked at the same time
Jane Siberry and
She re-recorded some of her old songs for her brief fling with stardom,
the hyper-arranged The Golden State (Sony, 2002).
Manzanita (Plug Research, 2005) returned her to a more congenial
spartan setting (the lengthy and articulate The Last Night of Winter,
Muscle Bone and Blood),
despite a few attempts at sounding fashionable.
Todd embraced much more, including electronics and jazz, for Gea (City Zen, 2008).
The lively and blunt Can I Borrow You,
the Slavic-style lament In The End,
the jazzy noir Kokoro
represent a significant variant of
meditational and confessional archetypes.
The stately catchy melancholy of Sleepless Nights stands out, and
is contrasted by
the desolate neoclassical nostalgia of Night Of A Thousand Kisses, one the emotional
zenith and the other the emotional nadir of the album.
The eleven-minute suite River of Life/The Yes Song appears to be a
simple country shuffle a` la John Denver but
soon the repetitive arrangement reveals a more profound and somewhat sinister
element in it, and the quasi-psychedelic coda only enhances that feeling.
The calm instrumental Wolf Reprise seems to bring peace to her tortured
Old World New World weaves a hypnotic structure around a simple John Fahey-ian guitar theme and a raga-like drone.
Cosmic Ocean Ship (2011) marked an ill-advised turn towards Latin
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