Previous Asthmatic Kitty releases, the Sufjan Stevens produced Done Gone Fire (2002), her 2005 collab with LA free-jazz collective Create(!), and her second full-length Poison & Snakes (2004), saw Liz kickin' down the avant Americana, the dirty psyche boogie, and the busted-up blues deconstruction. This time around she's teamed up with Asthmatic Kitty artist and über producer Rafter Roberts to give us her own version of a soul record—as seen through the lens of a lady who cut her teeth in the fertile Olympia noise and improv scene.
Say Goodbye is a 11-piece collection of unpretentious life and philosophy paired with Rafter's space-pop backing, Jason Crane's (Rocket from Crypt) soaring Motownian horn arrangements, and Chris Schlarb's smooth as chocolate gelato guitar work. Rafter and friends give new life to Liz's beautiful, spacious voice and her attempts at making sense of the world. (In that respect this is a very goodhearted record, a universal gesture, a rope tossed in a storm. Liz is lookin' out for you even while she plumbs the existential depths.)
As a lyrical statement, Say Goodbye wants to tell you that although life is brutal and people can be vicious it's important to keep a part of you vulnerable and gentle, to be soft in the midst of meanness. Musically, we'll all just geek out on how beautiful the arrangements are. Put simply, a satisfying two punch combo! So is Say Goodbye worth the five year wait? The result is a resounding yes! A yes with fireworks and pony rides and a free lemonade stand.