The spooky opening track, "Hear My Laughter," all echoing acoustic guitar, subtly threatening keyboard drones, and dark, menacing lyrics, suggests that Rachael Cantu's debut album is going to put the L.A.-born, Boston-based singer/songwriter in the same pretty-but-depressing realm as Lisa Germano, or Kristin Hersh's solo records. But then "Saturday" delivers an unexpected power pop rush, "Sweat and Bones" skirts into Michael Penn's old-school singer/songwriter territory, and the album highlight "Blood Laughs" sets a soft, murmuring vocal in a stark setting of bell-like synths played by ex-Papas Fritas leader Tony Goddess. All over the map in the best possible sense, Run All Night is enchantingly varied, with Cantu's husky vocals and generally rueful lyrics the only constants. It's also bracingly short, saying its piece in just over 27 filler-free minutes; would that more artists in the CD age understood the value of brevity.
released February 7, 2006