Review: Saint Bernadette – Word to the Lourdes

Label: Exotic Records

Released: April 14, 2009

The band name and album title here present a question. Is this band serious or tongue-in-cheek? After all, they’ve named themselves after the saint whose visions of the Blessed Mother continue to provide awe and inspiration to the faithful 150 years later. While their name could clearly be taken seriously, the title’s less-than-reverent allusion to the place of Saint Bernadette’s visions could also be read, as the band itself suggests, as a reference to pop icon Madonna’s child. This duality goes beyond the surface though and permeates the music.

The tunes draw on punk, 70s glam and straightforward rock n roll backing a strong vocal performance from singer Meredith DiMenna. She plays it sultry and sexy, but strong and really cultivates an atmosphere that is both dark and hopeful, serious and fun. The music is not merely a vehicle for her voice though as the songs still take precedence. They’re catchy without being overtly hooky, allowing them to hold onto what they catch. Solid production capitalizes on the band’s tightness without loosing the looser, glammy feel. More than anything though, it is the co-existence of sensual seediness and upbeat positivity that makes Word to the Lourdes not simply a fine rock record, but also a real reflection of life.

Satriani: 7/10
Zappa: 7/10
Dylan: 7/10
Aretha: 8/10
Overall: 7/10



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