Late Night Grande Hotel

At the start of her new album we find Nanci Griffith cowering beneath the covers while the phone rings off the hook. Is Freddy stalking her? No, she’s afraid of a shadow. Griffith’s partly country persona lacks the grittier, pre-feminist, strong-woman stance of, say, Loretta Lynn or Dolly Parton: She’s more yuppie than country. Late Night Grande Hotel‘s title cut, as well as songs like ”Heaven” and ”The Sun, Moon, and Stars,” practically have a New Age point of view, and duets with Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers and faded singer-songwriter Tanita Tikaram do nothing to add weight to her lighter-than-air presence. What saves Griffith’s work is her absolutely lovely voice, and three good songs near the end of the LP that are firmly rooted in reality: ”Hometown Streets,” ”Down ‘n’ Outer,” and ”You’re One Blade Shy of a Sharp Edge,” in which Griffith disses a fat old Republican, blowing off his come-on with the blithe announcement, ”I’ll cancel you out when I go to the polls.” Word! B

Late Night Grande Hotel
  • Music