When Crooked by Kristin Hersh arrived in the mail I didn't waste any time opening the package and then the hard cover book.
By having the book in hand, it feels quite exciting being 'a part' of the innovative concept: "a publishing industry first" with Kristin, lead singer of Throwing Muses, releasing her new studio album, Crooked, as a book. A first for any major recording artist, which makes this "a groundbreaking publication". The book is published by HarperCollins imprint The Friday Project.
I read the book before I listened to the album. The pages within include first the song title and description by Kristin, and then the next page, the lyrics to the song along with beautiful close up shots of flowers, the photos taken by Lisa Fletcher, and so on. When I finished reading the book, I read again, along with the music (after going online and unlocking with a code for access), which brought the book to life. Beginning with Mississippi Kite.
I started to write down stand-out tracks on Crooked, but stopped as I realized that my list was getting longer with each song that came on. Kristin's husky yet sweet voice, along with her passionate delivery, prominent guitars, dark grunge-like melodies and poetic lyrics make for a complete stand-out album. The same goes for the downloadable EPs, 'Beginnings' and 'Remainders' that come with the digital package found on the Crooked CASH Music page.
As I was listening to 'Beginnings' I reached for the book, but realized that there isn't a book for the EPs. As a music first for me, I think Kristin may have started a trend here, because I can see books along with albums - or albums along with books - becoming the norm for some...I hope. A great idea for both the literary and music worlds.
By: Jenny May
Additional book info:
Crooked, the book, contains full colour artwork, lyrics and an exclusive essay by Kristin on each song.
Each copy comes with a digital code which unlocks a treasure trove of online content including:
- The full Crooked album.
- Full recording stems for every track allowing fan remixes.
- Track by track audio commentary by Kristin and Billy O'Connell.
- Exclusive video content.
- A forum enabling fans to interract with Kristin, ask questions, live web chats etc.
- Sample chapters from her forthcoming memoir, Paradoxical Undressing.
This full content will only be available to fans who purchase Crooked the book.
Top photo credit: Dina Douglass
Buy Books, CDs, more:
For more information, go to Kristin's page on CASH Music (Coalition of Artists and Stake Holders):