By Carolina de Busto
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
By Joseph Hess
By Allsion Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By RFT Music
By Christian Schaeffer
Nadine visits secret, dark places where, it seems, only a bare bulb offers light. "The places I walk, the sun doesn't touch," sings Reichmann. Such words stand the chance of sounding melodramatic; the band succeeds, though, because the emotions they examine aren't shallow but dense and complicated. Reichmann tells little stories, sets them in faraway places close to home. On "Angela," one of the album's highlights, Nadine carries us on a "highway traffic flight, up the dusty golden way" to Angela, who "stands tall, her black eyes taking in it all." Nadine shines when relaying such vivid visions.
Recorded at Nadine's Undertow Studios on Washington Avenue, Lit Up from the Inside, like its predecessor, is graced with a sonic depth that paints each song with richness. Lead guitarist Rauner is concise, and his ability to complement a melody with counterpoint is one reason many of these songs shine; if the German fan was disappointed that Rauner didn't replicate exactly a solo when performing live, it was probably because his solos are often so exact that any extant note seems to go against a perceived logic. Too, the record's depth is the result of the band's willingness to augment the four-piece setup with strange, unearthly sounds and the occasional synthetic beat, and the result is an aural density that, in less-skilled hands, could muddy the intent. In Nadine's hands, the result is beautiful.
"I think the consensus, which we're all happy with, is that we've done something that actually sounds like our band, sort of broken free a little bit," says Reichmann. "It's much more a band record, a forward-looking record. It's really nice to play songs night after night, because everybody gets so tuned into everybody else, so we can bend stuff around. It's like you're not really even playing your instrument anymore; you're just kind of standing up there doing an interpretive dance, and so every night it can be so different. It's kind of a shame that we can't record a record twice -- like, record it once, then go on a big long trip and come back and then reinterpret it."