In 1987 the folk-rock Indigo Girls released their first full-length album, Strange Fire, without major-label assistance. It was a work of stripped-down melodies and raw emotions. The duo's signature sound was the melding of Emily Saliers's lullaby voice with Amy Ray's harder edge; together they composed a honeycomb of sweet harmony.
Twenty years later, the Girls are still strumming. This past September, they released Despite Our Differences, on Hollywood Records. In between their first and latest album, they recorded eight other studio albums, won a Grammy, supported a number of political and social agendas, and partook in a memorable stint in Lilith Fair. The new disc has a pronounced political edge. The song "Pendulum Swinger" is a candid indictment of President Bush, with lyrics that ring with rage: "What we get from your war walk/Ticker of the nation breaking down like a bad clock/I want the pendulum to swing again/So that all your mighty mandate was just spitting in the wind. " Recovering Republicans are welcome to attend. Alexandra Quiñones