By Jillian Bogater
“Despite Our Differences”
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After two decades of music, the Indigo Girls show no signs of slowing down.
On their 11th album, “Despite Our Differences,” The Indigo Girls offer familar melodies, but still stretch themselves vocally and musically. Evidence of this is found on the powerful track “Rock and Roll Heaven’s Gate,” which features Pink lending her raspy rock vocals as backup to the Indigo Girls.
“Rock and Roll Heaven’s Gate” is a solid rock tune that transcends the usual Indigo Girls fare. Ray fuses her electric guitar to Pink’s vocals, resulting in a head-nodding power tune.
The 13 tracks are evenly split, with Emily Saliers writing words and music for seven songs, Amy Ray taking the helm on six. Their diverse styles blend well, songs slowly drifting from traditional folksy pieces by Saliers like “Little Perrenials” and “Run” to minimalist ballads by Ray like “Dirt and Dead Ends” and “Money Made You Mean.”
The wisely crafted lyics invite listeners along the road, to the North Carolina mountains and along country highways. The majority of the album feels old-school Indigo Girls, with familiar slide guitar, mandolin and acoustic guitars blending with the Girls’ harmonies.
The differences between the two songwriters is clear throughout the album. Saliers is light and introspective, while Ray slows things down, taking darker turns, more musical risks. The blend of the two comforts like a patchwork quilt.