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Album Review

Indigo Girls, 'Poseidon and the Bitter Bug'

March 23, 2009
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Folk Rock
Indigo Girls Poseidon and the Bitter Bug
IG Recordings
ESSENTIAL "Second Time Around"

The title of the Indigo Girls' 11th album says more about their music than they may have intended. The phrase "Poseidon and the Bitter Bug," a haphazard pairing of lyrics from two songs on the release, sounds like it's making a statement about something, but it's never clear what that statement is. The same can be said of the album. It opens with Emily Saliers's gloomy, faintly bluesy groove "Digging for Your Dream," followed by Amy Ray's melancholic "Sugar Tongue." These two beautiful but downbeat tracks suggest that the Indigo Girls are looking to explore darker territory, but the mood doesn't last long. Soon the Girls plow back into pop with "Driver's Education," and from there, it's never quite clear where the album is going. The road trip-ready "Second Time Around" is the album's standout, featuring Ray's boozy vocals and a banjo-mandolin one-two punch. "If you ain't got nothing good to say, don't say nothing at all," she growls at one point. In the end, "Poseidon" follows the pretty but predictable model that has worked for the Indigo Girls for 20 years, and outdoor pavilion crowds everywhere will no doubt be thrilled with the result. (Out tomorrow)

JUDY COLEMAN

The Indigo Girls play at Newbury Comics and the Orpheum Theatre on April 16.

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