Review: Tracy Bonham's 'Modern Burdens' - Rolling Stone
Home Music Album Reviews

Review: Tracy Bonham Returns to Her Alt-Rock Highpoint With Rebuilt ‘Burdens’

‘Modern Burdens’ rethinks the singer-songwriter’s hit 1996 debut with help from some pals

Review: Tracy Bonham Returns to an Alt-Rock Highpoint in 'Modern Burdens'

Tracy Bonham's 'Modern Burdens' rethinks her hit 1996 debut.

Shervin Lainez

Tracy Bonham’s 1996 debut The Burdens of
Being Upright
turned Gen-X jitters and Berklee-honed chops into
alt-rock gold. 20 years later, Bonham has re-imagined the album, pulling its
songs apart and inviting a few pals (Belly’s Tanya Donnelly, Letters to Cleo’s
Kay Hanley, the New Pornographers’ Kathryn Calder and more) to help put them
back together. The radio hit “Mother Mother,” originally a
frayed-nerves blast through early-adulthood angst, turns into a blues-tinged
mosey through 2017’s magnified anxieties (“Trump is trending,” she
laments); “Navy Bean,” originally a punky corker, stretches out its
spindly lick over stomping drums; “The Real” gets a lift from rich
harmonies (courtesy of Speedy Ortiz’s Sadie Dupuis) and swirling
distortion. Modern Burdens is a lovingly penned postcard to
Bonham’s past self, and a fascinating look at where she’s at right now.


Powered by
Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.