Elevate Difference

I've Been Here the Longest

I’m always on the lookout for a great female lead singer, a strong group with an even stronger style and personality. They seem to be so few and far between, and a lack of maturity on the part of the lead is often the demise of a great band with such possibilities. I’m fond of talking about fabulous bands that would have been so much better—and lasted for more than a single album—if they’d found a great frontwoman to bring it home. Puracane is fortunate to have such a magnificent lead.

The hauntingly beautiful melodies and strong lyrics make I've Been Here the Longest a great addition to my library. I was immediately taken in by vocalist Ali Rogers unique, slightly haunting voice and strong songwriting style. Slightly reminiscent of Supreme Beings of Leisure, I've Been Here the Longest includes a number of songs I’ll put on repeated play on my iPod. I found myself reminiscing about the first time I heard Portishead, and that moment of “wow” that occurred when I realized I experienced something completely magical.

Lyricist and vocalist Rogers started Puracane in 2000 in New York. I took the liberty of listening to the earlier works and have to admit, I am most taken with this recent effort. Its maturity and allegiance to simple yet electrifying, sometimes heart wrenching passion, is the most wonderful musical experience I’ve had this year. I’m disappointed when the best is over, somehow longing for more.

Now a four-member band, including Rodgers, Juan Masotta (who brings amazing talent to the group), Andrew Griffiths, the shared Bass talents of Drew Thurlow & Paul Simon, and the amazing violin of Tony Diodore fill out the dance card nicely. From the memorable "Watershed" through a wonderful and striking "Riddle Me This," all the way to the undeniably original "Sirens," Rodgers sings her soul out and makes me wish for more tracks on a cold autumn night. Or, to live in NYC where I could see them live. I bet that is something to behold. This is the kind of music that gets me home through a tough rush hour commute and makes me happy to share with friends over a warm drink.

I spent quite a bit of time deciphering lyrics, which I never do unless I’m intrigued by the writing. A strong writer is, after all, the best songwriter on the planet. I love it when an album tells a story, and I've Been Here the Longest tells an amazing, maze-like story from beginning to end. All of these songs stand alone wonderfully, but put them all together and it’s like caramel sauce on an ice cream sundae, maybe even with a little whipping cream: decadent yet greatly anticipated and leaving me wanting more.

Written by: Rachel Petzold, December 28th 2009
Tags: haunting

I' going to ignore the creepy cover and check this out based on the Portishead reference. I <3 Beth's voice so my interest is piqued.