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Shanna Kiel reviewed

| November 29, 2006 | 2 Comments

Shanna Kiel

There’s a lot of brazen desire behind Orphan for such a short affair.


Kiel is a Midwestern girl who left her band (Sullen) seeking the spotlight, and happens to sound like Courtney Love circa early Hole. Her label, Thick, was once a Chicago institution but has since moved to industry home Los Angeles. Scott Lucas, whose Local H boomeranged from Zion to MTV to the suburban circuit, had a hand in Orphan. And then there’s an obscure T. Rex cover, “Chariots Of Silk,” written by a man so blinded by fame his empire shriveled up within four years.

At her worst Kiel sounds mercurial, primed for a babydoll dress and exceptionally bad makeup. She rocks grunge-ass chords through “Kismet” in a lower-register growl that’s nearly unintelligible, fitting given she’s not photographed without something (her hair, a cat) covering her face. Eschewing riot grrrl intellectual primitivism for scratch marks and warm whiskey shots, Orphan cares less about its own well being than its immediate effect. The mixing job is a headphone headache where the channels switch so randomly they almost challenge Kiel for the unpredicitibility title. Luckily there’s “Princess And The Pea,” a quintessential anti-promqueen anthem that’s depressed but rests assured: “You’ll be back/I know.”


Kevin Keegan

Category: Spins, Weekly

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Comments (2)

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  1. fan says:

    whatever jackass wrote this has no idea what theyre talking about . totally off in every way about this record & her.

  2. my opinion says:

    whether or not you like the record…this reviewer is off in many aspects.
    i think one of the most offensive would be the notion that she “left her band seeking the spotlight”
    she didnt even want to leave sullen. the band broke up.
    i know she was always reluctant to even be a “front woman” but didnt want to NOT play music and like many front men/woman- was sort of pushed to be in order to have a band. (when no one else would sing, she did.)
    she has always said to ME that she is most happy standing back”; playing the guitar in a band,” though she does love to write as well.
    anyway- i just wanted to point that out.
    maybe the reason there is often photos of her covering her face because she DOESNT want the spotlight. she is modest & shy and that in my opinion are qualitys i, for one, can appreciate in a “front woman”…………decide for yourself though….

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