Elevate Difference

Reviews by Karen Duda

Gorgeous Enormous

Carolyn AlRoy is a practicing therapist, and her day job obviously inspires some of her lyrics. For example, on the pensive “My First Mistake” she laments, “My first mistake was to make myself small, so that you wouldn’t be jealous at all.” But don’t be scared away from this gem of a pop album, as there are happier moments and a variety of styles.

Bedtime Prayers

I am not a heavy metal aficionado, although I did enjoy the more pop-oriented groups like Guns N’ Roses, Def Leppard and Metallica in my high school and college years. A friend in a black metal band informs me that the vocal style that so turned me off this disc is typical of death metal, but that doesn’t make it any more palatable to the masses. Just because your sound is heavy doesn’t mean the vocalist shouldn’t sing and, hopefully, sing well.

Doris #23

In the latest issue of her acclaimed zine, Cindy Crabb delivers more of the insightful, self-revelatory, meandering prose her readers have come to love. The issue opens with a beautifully-written meditation on love’s many forms. Other topics recounted include her canoeing trip with Julian, but touches upon dreams about her dead mother, the white co-opting of Native American experience, a friend’s disclosure of childhood sexual abuse, and her struggles with feelings of worthlessness.

Luminous Fish: Tales of Science and Love

This novel by celebrated biologist and writer Lynn Margulis purports to trace the personal lives of scientists. It focuses on four individuals: Howard, a pre-med student at the University of Chicago; Raoul, a French atmospheric chemist; Georges, a New Jersey native and probability expert; and René, the only major female character, at one point involved with Howard and later with Raoul.


This four-song EP from the Milwaukee-based group The New Loud isn’t groundbreaking, but enjoyable pop doesn’t always need to be earth-shattering. “Secrets” is a catchy pop-rock tune, with loud guitar and touches of synthesizer. A driving beat and punk attitude distinguish the frantic “Better This Way.” “Heart Attack” features staccato drum sections cleverly mimicking a heartbeat, more prominent synthesizers and a tempo slower than the previous songs.

We Got Issues!: A Young Woman’s Guide to a Bold, Courageous and Empowered Life

Simone de Beauvoir remarked nearly sixty years ago that in our society woman occupies the negative while man occupies both the positive and neutral positions, and this remains true today. This compilation of interviews, essays and poems highlights the thoughts of young women throughout the country and spotlights voices that are often missing from public debates, allowing us to hear their voices on serious issues.

The Blistering Sun

“Alright, OK,” the opening track on Rachael Sage’s new album The Blistering Sun, introduces you to all that is best about Sage’s music: it’s an vibrant, catchy, pop tune showcasing her warm, versatile voice, with clever rhymes and introspective lyrics, as well as top-notch piano playing and penchant for horns.