As X-rays penetrate Da Vinci's 500-year-old painting in order to determine the cause of its warping, Phillips swoops in, reminding us who will prevail. ("You're the last of your kind, Mona Lisa / With a wink of your eye / You make it all right.") "Lily-A-Passion," a pulse-pounding tale of "a piratey soul full of vinegar and glitter," bustles along, with Eric Gorfain's violin leading the charge. "Calamity Jane" looks back in admiration at a woman (last name: Fonda) unafraid to confront the War Machine. The album's centerpiece is "Susanna Little," an epic narrative in which an Indian girl grows up under so-called "Christian" values.
There have been many awesome male-female singing pairs: Gram and Emmylou, Richard and Linda Thompson, Scott Bondy and Anne Marie Griffin. With Creeper, you can add Phillips and Cindy Wasserman. Their voices meld perfectly, recalling a world we've all dreamed of, in which men and women finally understand each other and stand by each other, even in the afterlife.