NPR MUSIC:
The 5 Best Genre-Defying Albums Of 2010

NPR MUSIC: The 5 Best Genre-Defying Albums Of 2010

BY JOHN SCHAEFER

"Snider has taken a fascinating idea from playwright Ellen McLaughlin and turned it into a song cycle that works on several levels. A woman opens her front door to find her lover/husband back after 20 years in an unnamed war, unable to remember who he is. Her therapy, for both of them, is to read Homer's Odyssey to him as they wait and hope for his mind to heal. Yet another indie-classical song cycle featuring Shara Worden, Penelope deals with big ideas -- memory, identity, "home" -- but it's also an intimate portrait of a woman who, like Homer's Penelope, is confronted with finally getting what she's wished for. The top-shelf new music ensemble Signal, directed by Brad Lubman, is equally at home with the electronics and electric guitars of the score as the conventional acoustic instruments. Alternately intimate and dramatic, "This Is What You're Like" is a good example of this lovely and colorful score."

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