Über Iris Dement
Infamous Angel (1992) was an auspicious debut, roundly praised by critics, that fell through the cavernous cracks in the public's appetite for non-commercial country. Songs more honest and moving than "Sweet Forgiveness" and "After You're Gone" are rarely heard: the emotional stingers they leave deep within the listener burn worse as time goes on. It's Dement's gift to convert tiny packages of painful experience into vocal honey so it's easy going down, but these songs pack one heck of an emotional hangover. Dement's no Nashville hothouse flower to whom tick mattresses and gingham dresses are as foreign as distant stars -- she's got the scrappy tough voice and sensibility of a woman who's faced poverty and personal loss and keeps a piece of them within to remind her of where she's been. My Life (1993) and The Way I Should (1996) proved Dement is an artist capable of consistently releasing albums as remarkable as her debut.