There’s a lot to get excited about with Crooked. Firstly, there’s Kristen Hersh herself. The woman behind Throwing Muses, 50ft Wave and a wonderful collection of solo recordings covering three decades, she is never less than fascinating.
She is also always looking for new ways to get her music heard in an increasingly tough landscape. Crooked is an album that was released as a book and now as an app for iPad and iPhone. And, with Zeppelin Air hitting the shelves any day now, it’s a great listen via AirPlay.
This isn’t simply because it sounds very good, and the Apple Lossless files do sound very good, it’s also because rather than just a collection of music in an app, Kristen Hersh has produced a beautiful piece of work, that is visually engaging. It’s full of wonderful photography, intriguing essays, and commentaries on the recordings. This makes it the ideal iPad album – you can read her essay on a track while it plays on Zeppelin Air, and then, if you feel like it, listen to her read the essay as well. It truly is an engaging experience, and the music is fantastic. Plus, the very reasonable price of admission also allows you to download FLAC and MP3 versions of the music should you want them.
The only downside, if you could call it that, is like many apps out there it isn’t quite AirPlay ready. What we mean by this is that the AirPlay logo does not appear on the volume bar. However, there is a quick workaround. Simply select the iPod function on your iPad, select your Zeppelin Air speaker, exit without playing anything and then play the Crooked album. There’s no shame in this, as many apps, including BBC’s iPlayer, currently require the same workaround.