Joanna Newsom is definitely an acquired taste. But once you settle into her world, you become addicted. She may caterwaul and screech her schwas, but for my money she has the most emotive voice going in music... a voice you can fall into like a well worn chair. Ys makes me feel as if I’m being physically lifted into the air -- the first album in a long while to evoke 'real world' sensations.
- From NPR Listeners Pick The Best CDs Of 2006. Joanna Newsom's Ys finished 6th, above Cat Power and below TV On The Radio.
Etymology: German, from Hebrew schewA'
1 : an unstressed mid-central vowel (as the usual sound of the first and last vowels of the English word America)
2 : the symbol & used for the schwa sound and less widely for a similarly articulated stressed vowel (as in cut)
Definition from http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/netdict?schwa
More on schwa in Wiki and Random House's Maven's Word Of The Day.