Vincent Chen gives us the last of the Thao Nguyen coverage this week.

Thao NguyenLike the Linen (2006), Indie Rock, Trust Me Corporation

My eyes struggle to open as the sun’s rays shine through the blinds. In a t-shirt and boxers, I make a cup of coffee without my brain even directing my hands. Showered, shaved, and dressed, I drive to school amazed at how cool the morning air feels. This is the perfect time to listen to Thao Nguyen’s Like the Linen.

Thao’s soft voice and gentle guitar evoke a dreamlike, contemplative mood. The folky sound is in the same vein as Mirah with some Aimee Mann flavor. Nguyen’s songs are catchy and personal. She drops honesty:

“There’s nothing in your eyes
But slightly amused
An offer of me you politely refused
Is it that my heart beat too loud
Is it I did not bid it come down
Your round about etiquette
You hold the door but you won’t let me in”

The album oozes empathy with beautiful lines like that. The tracks paint a pretty picture but the sole drawback is replay value. Because of the album’s nature, it works better as short and quick listenings. Prolonged sessions make the music fade: you stop listening to the lyrics and her voice sounds more strained. Spin the record for those in-between moments with a smoke and a pause; enjoy the tranquil lyricism as real as your linen sheets.

vincent chen