Ys

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December 27, 2006 at 05:00 AM EST

Few recent releases were as acclaimed — and debated — as this California-based artist’s harp-strewn kook-folk debut, The Milk-Eyed Mender (2004). On Ys, she remains an acquired taste, but co-producer (and legendary Brian Wilson collaborator) Van Dyke Parks and a gorgeous full orchestra have an ameliorating effect on the too-precious warble that either bewitches or repels. There is still something unsettlingly Renaissance fair-meets-Wind in the Willows about her music, yet something lovely lives there as well.

Ys

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