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    $13.49 $10.04 list($16.98)
    1. Fair and Square
    $19.98
    2. Live at Fillmore West
    $13.49 $13.48 list($18.98)
    3. O
    $13.99 $13.13 list($17.98)
    4. What I Really Mean
    $13.49 $11.95 list($16.98)
    5. Songbird
    $13.49 $13.03 list($16.98)
    6. O.C.M.S.
    $13.49 $12.55 list($17.98)
    7. fromabasement on thehill
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    8. So Jealous
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    9. Nebraska
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    10. Hearts in Mind[Bonus Track]
    $20.99 $16.80 list($24.98)
    11. Essential Bob Dylan
    $13.99 $12.21 list($17.98)
    12. White Ladder
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    13. Grace
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    14. Best Of Peter, Paul & Mary
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    15. Impossible Dream
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    16. Live from Austin, TX
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    17. Gordon Lightfoot - Complete Greatest
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    18. Live at Blues Alley
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    19. Here Come the Choppers
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    20. Fisherman's Woman

    1. Fair and Square
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $13.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007VROHE
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 14
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Good things come to those who wait. During John Prine's nine-year interval between albums of original material, fans who hailed his recovery from cancer wondered whether he'd ever return to full creative speed. Here, Prine puts doubts to rest with an album that ranks with the finest of an inspired career. The big heart of "Glory of True Love," the socially conscious bite of "Some Humans Ain't Human," the reflective grace of "Taking a Walk," the wry whimsy of "Crazy as a Loon"--the hallmarks of Prine's artistry are reaffirmed on Fair & Square. The album also reflects Prine's first attempt at producing himself, with the warmth of his rough-hewn vocals finding a comfortable fit among the organic, largely acoustic arrangements. Though Prine penned 12 of the 14 cuts (including two bonus tracks, one recorded in concert), a pair of covers prove revelatory: Blaze Foley's "Clay Pigeons" sounds like it could well be one of Prine's own (with a melody that recalls "Hello in There" and a lyric of renewal that sounds like personal testament), while A.P. Carter's "Bear Creek Blues" carries an electric charge as the traditional song rocks harder than anything else on the album. With a generous selection of close to an hour of music, the album stands as a creative triumph for Prine, a fully satisfying effort that rewards the patience of his loyal fans. Welcome back. --Don McLeese ... Read more

    Reviews (18)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Comfortable Couch
    A good set of songs, most of them written by Mr. Prine. He's in a good mood and moody and estranged....Original music for the most part, kinda low key...at times appropriately qwirky, nice steel guitar, many of the melodies sounding like some of the better cuts from "The Missing Years"..."My Darlin Home Town" is my favorite."Bear Creek Blues" by A.P. Carter is an upbeat backwoods Irish Import from days of yore...."Morning Train" sounds fine...None of this is up to the quality of Prine's orignal American music from the first 3-5 albums..but in view of the music biz today its a breeze one can breathe... authentic, tunes that are not unlike a comfortable old couch, wine stained and unpretentious...

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not *bad*, exactly...
    It's probably not possible for John Prine to make a bad album.But it is possible for him to make one that is not up to "John Prine" or "The Missing Years", or even "Common Sense".This disc, while of course containing many of Prine's well-known strengths, suffers on a few counts.

    First, Prine's voice is not in good form.There are reasons for this, of course, but, well, there it is.His voice lacks the flexibility to properly emote.

    Second, his famous and necessary sense of humor is rarely in evidence.

    Third, and most telling, where Prine at his best is oblique in his social commentary, usually getting more than one bird per stone, in this one he is direct, as if he feels he doesn't have the time any more for subtleties.This condescension is unbecoming to an artist of his stature.

    I'm still looking forward to his next, and am hoping he'll be back to his regular form.

    3-0 out of 5 stars John Prine - 'Fair And Square' (Oh Boy)3 1/2 stars
    As one of America's best singer/songwriters,Prine penned these songs just as he always has with past efforts;with insight,grace and heart.He even has a female vocal talent on a couple of cuts here,country/folk fellow songwriter Mindy Smith.A couple of tracks that I was semi-impressed with were "Some Humans Ain't Human",his tribute to couples married for many years "Other Side Of Town" and "Clay Pigeons".Keep in mind this is not even close to any of my favorite genres,I just thought I'd review this disc as it's my very first listen I've ever had of John Prine.He's very good at what he does.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Prime Prine-it doesnt get any better!!!!!
    This is some of John Prines best music.
    You just put it on ,and his lyrics and beautiful music will
    take you away--and it gets better everytime you listen
    to this masterpiece. --The music is simple and
    the lyrics are genius. His sense of humor does come out in safety joe. All tracks have a unique and memorizing quality to them. Its gratifing to see excellent music come out
    from different styles this time ,instead of the same old crap from the newer artists of today.

    Mars

    1-0 out of 5 stars Long long long term Prine fan.
    I have been listening to Prine for almost 30 years. I've been to see him many times.

    Bluntly, I wasn't impressed with this album. The melodies are recycled and the lyrics are maudlin. I missed the wit that others have identified.

    I'll be going to see him this Summer if he comes back to Wolftrap, but I hope he sticks to his standards.




    ... Read more


    2. Live at Fillmore West
    list price: $19.98
    our price: $19.98
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    Asin: B000641A2C
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 55164
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    3. O
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $13.49
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    Asin: B00009V7P8
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 83
    Average Customer Review: 4.51 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Irish troubadour Damien Rice doesn't so much reinvent the folk genre on this lush, impossibly mature debut album as push its boundaries in several compelling musical directions at once--all the more remarkable considering the album was largely self-produced and home-recorded. His songs revolve around familiar, bittersweet concerns of life, love and their attendant frustrations, but delivered with conspiratorial intimacy on melodic wings that (like on the graceful "Cannonball") Rice seems almost embarrassed to share. If there's anything like a template here, it's "The Blower's Daughter," the song that first attracted the interest/stewardship of film composer David Arnold (whose guest production provides "Amie" with expansive cinematic elegance) and became a massive Irish hit. His plaintive vocal, embroidered by the mournful solo cello of Vyvienne Long, is suddenly brightened by an instrumental flourish and Lisa Hannigan's vocals--before just as quickly wafting on the breeze. With touches that range from "Day in the Life"-styled string collages to the dizzy, exhilarating neo-operatic excesses of the 16-minute "Eskimo," Rice's musical palate here is as adventurous as his songs are grounded in emotional intimacy. --Jerry McCulley ... Read more

    Reviews (154)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Haunting and Beautiful
    Damien Rice has a beautiful Irish tenor voice. And it works wonderfully in his folk aranged album. He also has a female companion who harmonizes with him, and she is a fantastic vocalist. This album is composed of guitar, the two vocalists, some percussion, and generally a cello or small strings arrangement. That makes for a wonderful album to listen and relax to.
    The song-writing on the album is amazing. Rice writes songs like conversations and uses the wonderful (and beautiful if you've seen the video) female to sing the response. Many songs are about lost love or bad love or just love, but they are not just simple, stupid, pop love songs. They are incredibly crafted lyrics that can stand alone without music, which says a lot about Rice's songwriting skills.
    Buy this album if you enjoy folk/pop music. James Taylor, Angie Aparo, Radiohead, Jeff Buckley, Gark Jules and David Gray are a few musicians I would say if you like you'll enjoy Damien Rice.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The most beautiful album I have ever heard...
    Searching for words to describe this album are like trying to count the stars in the sky. (I know it's cliche, but it works). This album is amazingly beautiful.

    Back in May I picked up a friend of mine in Chicago after she spent the semester in Ireland and the whole way home (a 3+ hour drive) all we listened to was O. After we arrived home, I decided I had to have the album. I ordered the import off amazon and before it arrived, I got to see Damien back in Chicago at Schubas. If the album itself doesn't amaze you, go see him live and you'll fall in love. Just a few more weeks until he plays Chicago again.

    This album ranges from soft ballads (The Blower's Daughter) to heart-wrenching rock (the second half of I Remember). Unlike many albums from folk singers, I think this one is best listened through all the way at once. While there are great standout tracks (Amie, I Remember, Delicate), the whole album tells a story. There is a gradual almost epic-like progression throughout that sends the listener on a roller-coaster of emotions.

    One of the greatest things about this album is the fact that Damien recorded this (mostly) in his basement over the course of a year. Instead of being thrown into a studio for a month to record the album using manufactured emotion (having to record on days you don't feel like it), Damien recorded each of the songs when he was "feeling it". That's why all of the emotion in these songs are SO real, so genuine. There is nothing manufactured about its sound. Another magnificant thing about it is the range of instrumentation and musical genre used. As I said, there are the slow, soft ballads, and rocking songs as well as Operatic elements (Eskimo)and beautiful orchestration in "Amie" and "Cold Water".

    From listening to the album and several live shows I have, I can tell that Damien does not have a powerful, controlling, confident voice. Rather his voice sounds strong at times, but is usually more reserved and cautious. This cautious tone makes the album all the more believable, showing it is true emotion that has not been overproduced or forced.

    I really can not say enough good things about this album and if I could give 10 stars, I would. As I said, my favorite tracks are #1 Delicate, #6 Amie and #9 I Remember, but there is not a bad song on the album.

    As one other reviewer already said, my only complaint is that the last song (Eskimo) has 2 "hidden tracks" [Prague, and Silent Night (a song set to the tune of the traditional Silent Night Christmas song, but with different lyrics)] that should have been seperate tracks finishing off the album with 12 instead of 10. But as my only complaint, I must still recommend this album.

    E-mail me if you have any questions whatsoever.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
    Damien Rice is such a talented musician. His music never gets old, you can listen to it over and over again. His soultry voice is always nice to listen to. I highly recommend it!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fearless
    This is my first review of anything on Amazon, though I am a constant reader. I simply had to talk about this album.

    The best way to describe this album is fearless. He takes the road less traveled by other up-and-coming singer-songwriters. While the new batch has had some very good singers, nothing compares to this album. They seem more interested in making a "clean" album, while this album seems like he is alone in a room baring his soul.

    Though the strange thing is about the album s that you know he could not have been alone in a room. There is so much going on, so many chances taken that it is hard to descibe. Simply saying that it is an acoustic album is wrong. The album brings in much more.

    Fearless in his atempts to expand beyond just him and his guitar. Consider how at the end of Amie, out of nowhere comes what sounds like an entire orchestra. It sounds beautiful and it becomes almost impossible to imagine the song without it. Then the gorgarian (sp?) chants that enter into Cold Water. By the end of the album it seems only appropriate to have an opera singer at the end of Eskimo.

    But the wonderful things about the album is that it doesn't rely on these tricks. They are simply used to enchance the songs. Cannonball is simply him and his guitar, and it is one of the best songs on the album (a song friends of mine have confessed crying to when they heard it).

    Another huge difference between him and others is the feeling involved. I have yet to hear another singer coming out now who you can feel their pain so clearly and identify with it(Howie Day is close). The only line in the chorus of The Blower's Daughter is "I can't take my eyes off you..." The way he sings it and the passion in his voice make the line more romantic and meaningful than an entire boy-band album.

    Just the other night I went outside with my CD Player to sit on the front porch and listen to music while I smoked a cigarette. I started at track one, and became so engrossed in the songs, I just sat there until the album finished. It is THAT good. And it is that feeling that is put into every song that gives me the impression this album will age very well.

    I agree with others that he brings back memories of when Jeff Buckley was around. They invoke the same spirit. And that is nothing but a compliment, because if there is anything music needs now, it is someone who can do to people what Jeff did. Even though Jeff died too soon, people are still listening to his music because it means so much to them. I have the feeling that this album will do the same. It is Damien Rice's "Grace".

    My only concern is the same as others. How in the hell is he going to follow this up? But here is the fun part, imagine if he somehow makes a better album?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Finally...
    When I first heard Damien Rice I immediatley felt pleasantly confused and relieved, thinking to myself, "Finally someone new with passion and true emotion".

    I highly recommend this CD and hope more people discover this wonderful collection of songs. A true music fan will appreciate this one. Damien Rice's music is honest and full of heart. His backing vocalist, Lisa, is a purely gorgeous angelic voice that compliments Rice perfectly. The comibation of acoustic guitar and cello is simply beautiful. This CD has a refreshing classical feel that is delicate but full of power. The album was made to be heard loud from the first track all the way to the end. The songs are ordered to perfection and have a lot to give out to its audience. Don't miss out.

    We need more artists like Damien Rice and it's wonderful to know true artists are actually creating good sound somewhere. It's difficult to believe this is Damien Rice's debut CD, the possibilites are endless for a follow-up. ... Read more


    4. What I Really Mean
    list price: $17.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007Y8A74
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 164
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Few songwriters are as cinematic as Robert Earl Keen. In the tradition of Keen's classic "The Road Goes on Forever" and "Merry Christmas from the Family," his eleventh album finds the Texas troubadour transforming indelible characters, vivid description, and narrative drive into movies for the ear. He delves into the surreal with "The Great Hank," a spoken-word barroom vignette that features Hank Williams in a time warp (and in drag). He turns a fable about animals into a tale as dark and twisted as film noir in "Mr. Wolf and Mama Bear," and enlists a vocal cameo from Ray Price and a serenade from Mariachi Estrella to provide the soundtrack for the droll story of cantina overindulgence in "A Border Tragedy." Even the tender title song, about the touring musician missing his wife, shows his eye for evocative detail, with one of Keen's warmest vocals to date. Produced by his bandleader/guitarist Rich Brotherton, the album's musically expansive arrangements match the ambition of the storytelling, with guest banjo from the Bad Livers' Danny Barnes, a lovely soprano sax by John Mills on the title cut, and Celtic pipes from E.J. Jones on "The Traveling Storm." Keen may well expand his audience along with his musical range, as the uptempo "The Wild Ones" could pass as a John Hiatt cut, while "Broken End of Love" has an echo of Tom Petty. --Don McLeese ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Great American Songwriter, Singer and Performer
    I bought this cd at a recent live show by REK that I attended and have to say this one's a good one.He performed some of the songs on the cd at the show and everyone there was very accepting, especially when he sang the Hank song.REK is one of America's treasures, a great songwriter, performer and vocalist.Get this one, you will not be disappointed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A MUST HAVE
    This is REK's finest album yet.Some instant classics that will be must plays at all of his concerts - For Love, What I Really Mean and Broken End of Love.The whole album from start to end is a winner.Buy it now!You will not want to take it out of your cd player.

    5-0 out of 5 stars REK returns to form
    I cant tell you how happy I was when I first listened to this CD.
    REK is back in good form. good songs and good production. Highly recommend it.
    This is a very happy surprise after his last 2 releases.
    Gravitational Forces had BAD production and decent songs.
    Farm Fresh Onions had BAD production AND Bad songs.

    yeeehaahes back and Im loving it

    5-0 out of 5 stars REK you did it!!!!!!!!!!!
    FANTASTIC!!!! BUY THIS ALBUM!! Ever sInce Gringo Honeymoon REK has been working. Searching. Trying different things. I applaud his efforts and have always loved the music, but let me say Robert Earl Keen has finally done it. This album is fantastic. This is the first album I have listened to each track TWICE before moving on to the next song. His songwriting is superb. This CD has the old school REK that we all fell in love with but with that twist he has been working towards for nearly 10 years. He is NOT the pluck pluck yuk yuk performer that he was afraid of becoming. Superb. You just gotta buy this CD. Sit back with a cold one and enjoy. What I really mean is this possibly the best REK album yet!

    5-0 out of 5 stars What I Really Mean is Buy This CD
    I have been listening to an advance copy of this album for almost two months. I have played it so often that my wife wants me to leave the house. She thinks I have a weird sickness for REK music, which I probably do. That said, I can tell you that this is an amazing CD and probably the best effort of Robert's long career. I think it could be the break out album for the premier singer songwriter from Texas.

    Although I liked Farm Fresh Onions, I am really a bigger fan of some of his earlier stuff. Several songs off Bigger Piece of Sky, especially Paint the Town Beige and Crazy Cowboy Dream have always been my favorite REK tunes. I still listen to Picnic often. My favorite songs on it are: Over The Waterfall, Running With The Night and 4th of July.

    If you share my love for those early songs, you are really going to like What I Really Mean. The song writing is vintage REK, and the band is excellent. Rich Brotherton may be the most under rated guitar player in the world. The rhythm section is as solid (game) as always on every song. The addition of Danny Barnes on banjo adds nicely to the sound of several tracks.

    My favorite cuts on the CD are the title track with its catchy sax, banjo and wonderfully descriptive lyrics. I also love Broken End of Love. Even Bob Dylan hasn't written a song that uses the word metamorphosis. I also like the last cut, Ride, with its bouncy kind of rhythm and great lyrics.My 3-year-old daughter, who is a huge REK fan, likes Ride the best, along with Mama Bear.

    If you are already a fan or just curious about Robert's music, you need to buy this CD. You will not be disappointed. Buy it and tell a friend. ... Read more


    5. Songbird
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $13.49
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    Asin: B000006AKD
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 157
    Average Customer Review: 4.84 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Songbird cherry-picks tracks from the three locally released albums of Eva Cassidy, whose hauntingly beautiful vocals went virtually unheard outside her native Washington, D.C., during her short 33 years with us. Lost to melanoma in 1996, Cassidy sang with an unaffected purity and an astonishing ability to make both classic and contemporary songs sound like they were written just for her. Sting's "Fields of Gold" finally lives up to its title through the alchemy of Cassidy's transcendent rendition, while other tracks on this anthology showcase her ease in the realms of pop (Christine McVie's "Songbird"), soul ("People Get Ready"), gospel ("Wade on the Water"), and traditional standards ("Autumn Leaves" and "Over the Rainbow"). Framed by understated jazz and pop arrangements, Cassidy's clear, soulful voice and exquisite phrasing make her that rarest of vocalists whose interpretations are a complement to any song. A fine introduction to a true talent. --Billy Grenier ... Read more

    Reviews (496)

    5-0 out of 5 stars from Solo Piano Publications
    I usually review piano and keyboard CDs, but this album is so good and is making such a stir that I decided to throw in my two cents. One of my adult piano students gave me this CD for my birthday, and I had never heard of Eva Cassidy, so I was a little skeptical. Just goes to show that there are still new wonders to discover! Compiled from three previously-released albums, "Songbird" clearly indicates the many facets of Cassidy's voice and the incredibly natural way she was able to use it to convey such depth of emotion. From standards ("Autumn Leaves", "Over the Rainbow") to gospel ("Wade in the Water", "Wayfaring Stranger", "Oh, Had I A Golden Thread"), rock ("Fields of Gold", "Songbird", "People Get Ready"), and gorgeous ballads ("I Know You By Heart", "Time is a Healer"), she slips effortlessly from one genre to another with a voice as pure and honest as a Judy Collins or a Joan Baez. On the gospel and R&B songs, she gets down with the best of 'em! Could this really be a slender, painfully shy, white girl? And then she goes on to a simple ballad and her guitar, and the sweet-voiced folkie returns. The backing instrumentation (usually bass, guitar, and drums) is simple and fully enhances the vocals. It is such a tragedy that Eva Cassidy's life was cut short at the age of 33, but God bless Chris Biondo for recording her singing whenever he could so that her gift and talent can live on and grace us all.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This really deserves six stars
    This is the best voice I have ever heard. Eva Cassidy easily ranks with Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, and Billie Holliday in the ability to express pure emotion through voice. You probably know her story, and it is tradegy. This album is a compliation of previous recordings. Several tracks are live, and the album's producer chose to edit out the applause. You won't be able to tell the the studio from the live tracks unless you look at the CD sleeve. That's impressive. There is no bad track on this disk. Song styles range from folk to gospel to ballad...it doesn't matter what she's singing or what your musical preference is, if you HAVE a soul, her voice will hook you and reel you in. Sting's "Fields of Gold," is the first track, and it somewhat showcases her ability to make a song hers. She does this by putting her soul in her vocal. After hearing this rendition a couple of times, you'll forget that some other guy wrote this song. "People Get Ready," a popular popular cover tune, really shows the range of her voice. Man, she can belt it out. My favorite song on the album is "I know You By Heart." This is the most beautiful/sad song I have ever heard. Period. My wife has a hard time listening to this disk because it is so sad, between the power of emotion Miss Cassidy sings with in addition to her tragic demise. This collection of different genres is ultimately the blues, sung with passion only rivaled by the greats mentioned earlier. I hope she can here all of us listening to her music and have the ability to understand the depths her music is able to move its listeners.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This one's a perfect ten
    I believe I'm writing this more for myself than for readers who can look at five hundred previous reviews. I was so moved by Eva Cassidy's songs that I want to share my thoughts with everyone. I recieved a copy of 'Songbird' from my sister in law. I rarely prefer a second version of a familiar song so I was hesitant to even listen to this CD which included some old favorites. Then I had to take a long drive and had nothing new to listen to, so I listened to Eva. I was stunned. The music really got to me and I had not seen her or heard Eva's tragic story. I've since purchased all Eva's CDs and enjoyed each as much as the first. It is difficult to describe the impact of listening to Eva Cassidy for the first time. I doubt anyone will ever forget the experience. She is amazing!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect
    Just listened to "Over the Rainbow" again. Wow. That's just about as well as a mortal can do it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars 6 stars out of 5.....
    The beautiful, irreplaceable Eva Cassidy died at the young age of 33, leaving behind a treasury of beautiful and bluesy songs she reinvented with her beautiful voice, guided by an intuitive grace. SONGBIRD is like no album I have ever heard. It has a quiet strength, not unlike Eva herself, that sets it apart from all folk, jazz, blues and pop albums.

    The first cut, "Fields of Gold," was made completely unrecognizable from Sting's original. The words took on a different meaning for me, and Eva's melancholy voice made me think of those moments of solitude in the early morning before life begins to emerge, where you can truly be alone with your thoughts in introspection. Eva also has an amazing talent for pumping even more soul into the blues, R&B, gospel and jazz songs she interprets on the album. ("Wade in the Water," "Wayfaring Stranger," "People Get Ready,")
    Of course, one of the most well known tracks off of this collection is her arrangement and interpretation of "Over the Rainbow." This truly brought tears to my eyes! When I finished listening to it, the yellow brick road and Dorothy were nowhere to be found.......all I could see was Eva, surrounded by her beautiful light and energy that permeates throughout this recording.

    This album will change the way you think about music. Please listen to the samples and make your call. Believe me, this will become a frequently-played part of your CD collection. ... Read more


    6. O.C.M.S.
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $13.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00019JQHI
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 295
    Average Customer Review: 4.46 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    During the "folk music-scare" of the early 1960s, a bunch of white middle-class youths with names like the Greenbriar Boys and the Even Dozen Jug Band discovered the mountain music of the Stanley Brothers, Skillet Lickers, and Uncle Dave Macon and set about introducing it to the country's college kids. Four decades later, the members of OCMS fit the profile of those early revivalists, yet if anything they have tapped deeper into the primal elements of an American art form. As demonstrated on their debut, they have assimilated not just the sound--banjos, harmonicas, acoustic guitar and bass--but more importantly the haunting spirit of music that was made to keep hard times at bay. How else to explain their ability to take a well-worn chestnut like "CC Rider" and infuse it with an energy that reveals once again why it is a classic? Not content to live completely in the past, they wrote "Big Time in the Jungle," which, though it is about Vietnam, could easily be transposed to 2004's desert conflicts. Kindred spirit and producer David Rawlings (Gillian Welch's longtime collaborator) has kept their energy intact, but one can only wonder what sort of magic they must deliver live. --Michael Ross ... Read more

    Reviews (26)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Like Gravy
    I love seeing this band live--it is a soulful experience. And yes, long-time fans will have heard more rollicking versions of several of the songs. But the Old Crows prove on this record that they can convey a range of emotion, sing and write different kinds of songs, evoke different kinds of feelings and memories--all while staying true to the music of the past. For those who might hesitate to buy this record because of comparison to some bluegrass CD currently annoying the masses, don't fear--this is something entirely different--something that, in stripping off the polish/varnish that makes most most contemporary musician's voices and music sound exactly the same--strikes at something that is (for lack of a better word) real. From fast-paced, energetic songs like "Tear it Down" to the transcendent original tune "We're All in This Together" this album stands apart. It is excellent, and has not left my CD player since it arrived last week.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good, but not so good.
    These guys are still one of my favorite bands, but I agree with an earlier review that Nashville has really damaged this group. I'm sure this is going to be a hit record, but the album buying public will never know how good this band has been in the past. The energy of their live show and other albums is completely missing. Those of you who've never heard this band should definately buy this. However,if you're and old fan, you should be in mourning. Goodbye Old-Time Punk, hello O'Brother. Can't blame record exec's for wanting to make a buck.

    4-0 out of 5 stars How are they live?
    The review wondered how Old Crow was live- I had the pleasure of seeing them this spring, and I can say they were fabulous. Spontaneous, fun, energetic- David Rawlings went to joing them half way through the set, and the chemistry was great. The album's great, they're the best 'new' bluegrass I've heard in a while. Buy the album, then find them live!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Maybe the band wants a buck too
    The album is great. Haunting and feels like my old house.
    Change and evolution are an inevitable part of life, and blaming record execs for a band's album not sounding like/or having the energy of a live show is just plain tired. Nothing ever stays the same, let go and enjoy the growth.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Asheville
    I went to see this group in Asheville, NC. They started with CC Ride and got better all the time. I thought that each song was just unbelievable, the way they built you up and the ending song was Wagon Wheel. Not to get too involved but "Butch" did a wonderful fill on the guitar and vocals. If you here this album you will really want to go and see Old Crow Medicine Show in person. This is a group that on the cutting edge. ... Read more


    7. fromabasement on thehill
    list price: $17.98
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    Asin: B0002SROT0
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 88
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    Amazon.com

    Posthumous releases fall into two categories: those which the artist was working on at the time of their death, and those which are gathered from every nook and cranny to keep fans enthused and cash registers ringing. Elliott Smith's from a basement on the hill is of the former variety. It was close to completion at the time of his untimely death. Over the course of the set's 15 songs, Smith's powerful songwriting and production skills are shown in their full breadth. From thickly interlocked chordal guitar riffs ("Coast to Coast") to shimmering melancholia ("A Fond Farewell"), the songs are each brought to their own particular focus by whatever means were most appropriate. There are lush background vocals, keyboard washes, pounding rhythms, and heart rending balladry. This disc is a sad goodbye to richly emotive artist. --David Greenberger ... Read more


    8. So Jealous
    list price: $15.98
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    Asin: B0002MSCBK
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1774
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    Amazon.com

    Three albums into Tegan & Sara's career, it's still somehow necessary to get a couple of facts about them out of the way before diving into their latest offering. They are, yes, identical twin lesbians, and they do occupy the space--more like a vacuum, really--between the riot-grrl menace of Sleater-Kinney and the un-fun folk of Indigo Girls. That out of the way, So Jealous is the duo's best disc yet, meriting more than the mainstream notice that has so far evaded it. All the components are in place: a beyond synthy, full-throttle band, including John Collins and David Carswell of New Pornographers, and songwriting so honest as to make a person--any person--check to make sure no one has been snooping in her diary ("I won't mistake you for problems with me/I won't let my moods ruin this you'll see," from "I Won't Be Left"). The vibe is early-80s pop-punky (Tegan & Sara's singing can sound like Missing Persons' minus the squeals) spiked with a rock'n'roll edge--if the title track were noisier, it might sound at home on a Yeah Yeah Yeahs disc. Destined for hugeness, if only in indie circles for now, Tegan & Sara provide something crucial for pop princesses to be So Jealous of, and that's genuine talent. --Tammy La Gorce ... Read more


    9. Nebraska
    list price: $11.98
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    Asin: B0000025T6
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 4115
    Average Customer Review: 4.61 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential recording

    Hot on the heels of The River, his commercial breakthrough, Springsteen's decision to release the stark, demo-quality Nebraska seems downright perverse. But the genius of the album is unmistakable--with just an acoustic guitar and his howling harmonica to back him, Springsteen tells the stories of characters walking on both sides of the law, some of them directly on the line in between. The effect is that of a powerful series of black-and-white photographs--the details are bleak in and of themselves, but they ignite the imagination in ways that are more satisfying than full-color shots would be. "Mansion on the Hill," "Highway Patrolman," "Atlantic City," and the frightening "Nebraska" are among the most sharply rendered and memorable works of Springsteen's career. --Daniel Durchholz ... Read more

    Reviews (95)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Bruce's Finest
    I always preferred when artists go acoustic, and record a low-quality album. Albums like Nebraska capture an artist at their most intimate. This was Bruce Springsteen's stark, low-key acoustic record. It was very dreary, as it was beautiful. His tales of suffering and being on the wrong side of the law was profound and you can feel it in his howl and his singing. He already had the reputation of being a high-energy, bombastic satdium act but Nebraska captured him in a whole new light. It was more reserved than Born to Run, and it had more personality than many of his albums. Songs like "Atlantic City," "State Trooper," and "Highway Patrolman" send chills down my spine, whereas other songs like "Nebraska," "My Father's House" and "Used Cars" express Springsteen in a more vulnerable, yet very striking voice, particularly Nebraska's tale of a serial killer. Even non-fans of The Boss can appreciate this album for its sense of intimacy and depth. Springsteen would never be this bare after this album, although certain subsequent works do show his profound side (particularly Tunnel of Love and the Rising).

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not for Everyone
    "You wanna know why I did what I did; well, sir, I guess there's just a meanness in this world." So ends the first and title track of this album. The song 'Nebraska' is based, like Terrence Malick's 1973 movie 'Badlands', on the story of the 1950's killer, Charles Starkweather. As with all the songs here, Springsteen sings in the first person, becoming the characters he breathes to life. The first song, chilling and nihilistic, sets the tone for the rest of the album, which portrays the stark working class existance of small town life.

    Here we meet people living on the edge. People with a thin sense of hope running on empty. Yet out of the initial depression and bleakness of his landscape, Springsteen can find a humanity in many of his people, still shining just beneath the surface.

    This is not an album for everyone. Certainly, it is different from most of Bruce Springsteen's music, perhaps finding it's closest echo in 'The River'. The sound is raw, apparently recorded in Springsteen's own basement, and features a solo performance with only guitar and harmonica. It's tone and sometimes despair recalls the desperation of the dust bowl blues; the lyrics resonate like Raymond Carver stories put to music. Never before or since has Springsteen created such evocative slices of life with such an economy of words.

    All in all, an extraordinary album. Unique, wild, raw, and beautiful. Deceptive in its simplicity, and disturbing too. A great album.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Shows his true artistry and ability
    Bruce decided he had to make this album to further himself as an artist, as to not get stuck in a routine of writing typical pop songs. It took a lot of guts to do, especially because he knew that it wouldn't be an immediate big smash, and because he also knew that he could have easily remained in the same vein he had been in and sold more records at the time. In the book "Howling At The Moon," Walter Yetnikoff, who was President of CBS Records when Nebraska came out, described the first time he listened to it with Bruce. He said Bruce was very nervous, because he knew it wasn't a commercial album, and so Yetnikoff, who was drunk at the time, listened to it, and responded by calling the album the wrong name, "Yeah, I really like 'Omaha,' Bruce." A mistake in the name, but it was not a mistake to release this album. It allowed Bruce to explore darker and different areas of his craft, and to master them, while showing people that he is not the one-dimensional caricature that many make him out to be. Highlights on this album include: Nebraska (very scary), Atlantic City (it's interesting to listen to the original version and compare it to the version on the Live in NYC DVD; really one of his best songs ever), Highway Patrolman, State Trooper (his visceral screams are the highlight of the album), and Open All Night. You can really hear his influences on this one, including Dylan, Orbison, and Buddy Holly. It paved the way for him in the future by opening up his creativity, and for fans of typical "Born in the USA" Bruce, this is a realy eye-opener, and it might take a while to grow on you, but believe me it will!

    5-0 out of 5 stars "Deliver me from nowhere..."
    Raw and unrelenting, Nebraska is a shock to the casual Bruce fan's system. Alike nothing he had created before, it was a true testament of Bruce's artistry. He rarely gets enough credit for the chances he took musically through the years--Nebraska being probably his biggest one. This album could have been awful. It could have cemented the notion that Bruce could never be anything close to "Dylanesque." This could have done to him what going electric did to Dylan. But...it didn't. Not only does Nebraska prove Bruce's lyrical talent, but it also proves that he is not just the electric guitar wielding, theatric stage performer that we all know and love.

    Recorded on his own tape recorder, in his bedroom, it's just Bruce and his acoustic guitar yearning for redemption, deliverance, and a reason to believe. The lyrics on this album will get inside you immediately, within the first few lines of the title track. They will pull you into the desolate world of his disparaged and lonely characters. Bruce is a master at painting portraits of life in his words by creating characters you can feel, see, and love. On 'Nebraska', he creates antiheroes for the common man. In "Johnny 99" you start to empathize with the main character as he descends toward madness after losing his job at the plant in Mahwah late last month. In "Highway Patrolman" Bruce displays the moral ambiguity of an honest man torn between his duty as a law officer and his own flesh and blood. Others like "Used Car" and "Mansion on the Hill" are Bruce's retelling of his childhood memories. They will leave you feeling lost in time, like you are looking into the soul of an old black and white portrait.

    "State Trooper" is a song like no other. Bruce himself wasn't sure if it could be even called a song, but he threw it on the record anyway. I wouldn't recommend listening to it while driving alone, especially after midnight, because it might scare the s*** out of you. Either that, or you will go mad and drive endlessly trying to escape from nowhere.

    'Nebraska' is one of those albums that takes on a whole new persona depending on when you listen to it. In the daytime, it is a realistic journey into the past, a walk with each character down the street of hopelessness towards a meaningful existence. At night, however, it turns into a descent into loneliness, desperation and uncertain fear. Listening to this record will definitely take you somewhere. It may be somewhere unpleasant, somewhere to close for comfort, to real to discern. It may take you to a place where everything you've ever known in life fails you. And it may strike you kind of funny...but at the end you'll somehow be left with more of a reason to believe.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Taped it off the radio in 1982
    Maybe it's got something to do with my frame of mind at the time, but I really found myself able to enjoy Nebraska while not having much use for The Ghost Of Tom Joad past "Youngstown". My original tape of Nebraska came directly from radio when it first came out. I had to sacrifice one of my precious Beatles tapes for Nebraska, but I considered it a good trade. I was about to leave work as it was starting and wasn't going to make it home in time to tape it there, so I stuck the Beatles tape in and let it record on my boom box while I listened in the car on the trip home. I wound up sitting in the car and listening to the whole thing, then went to work to retrieve the tape the next day. I know people who absolutely hate Nebraska because it "depresses" them, (these people also consider BITUSA his best work,) but I've always just considered it moody. It's perfect for late night drives on dark and lonely highways, and that's where I was back in 1982. It always reminded me of a Johnny Cash album, something that hit home years later when Johnny recorded "Johnny 99". ... Read more


    10. Hearts in Mind[Bonus Track]
    list price: $13.98
    our price: $9.99
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    Asin: B00074CBO2
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 412
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    On her first studio album since 2001's Clock Without Hands, Nanci Griffith hearkens back to her best early albums, particularly the Jim Rooney-produced work of the '80s. Whereas her '90s music veered off into arch or uncomfortable pairings with lofty-minded producers and members of U2 and R.E.M., here she takes stock and strives for, as the title of the leadoff track says, a "Simple Life." Griffith was wise to assume the lead as her own producer (with Pat McInerney), scaling back to a more organic, folk-singer approach ("Last Train Home," a 2002 song which appears here, would have fit well on her first Philo albums) and reuniting with guest vocalists Mac McAnally ("Rise to the Occasion") and Jimmy Buffett ("I Love This Town"). While the material draws on a variety of influences, Hearts in Mind wraps its thoughts around two themes: Exploring the hopeful beauty of the romantic heart, and honoring soldiers and civilians lost in the wreckage of war ("Heart Of Indochine"; "Old Hanoi"; "Big Blue Ball of War"; and the exquisitely sad, Julie Gold-penned "Mountain of Sorrow," inspired by the events of 9/11). Throughout, Griffith stretches herself as an artist: "Beautiful," a tribute to her stepfather, marks a lively, clarinet-accented departure from her usual repertoire, while only her delivery lifts "When Ted Loved Sylvia," Le Ann Etheridge's intriguing take on the relationship between Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath, above its lyrical shortcomings. The singer makes fine use of her lower register at times, and continues to push for a fuller voice than the feathery vocals that marred her freshman efforts. The end result is her most accessible album in years, one that deeply satisfies on both a musical and an emotional level. --Alanna Nash

    Recommended Nanci Griffith Discography


    The Last of the True Believers

    Other Voices, Other Rooms

    One Fair Summer Evening

    Once in a Very Blue Moon

    Other Voices, Too (A Trip Back to Bountiful)

    The Complete MCA Studio Recordings

    ... Read more

    Reviews (15)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Voice in the Wilderness
    In an era where the President of the United States betrays the trust of the American people by taking them into war based on fictitious intelligence resulting in over 1,650 American casualties, the most since Vietnam, and packages as patriotism the effort to prop up oil business buddies with American blood, it is refreshing to see an artist like Nanci Griffith -- a country artist -- take a strong anti-war stand.Her composition that compares our Earth to a "Big Blue Ball of War" is effective as a philosophic statement & as a musical one, "Almost a century the blood has flowed; We've killed our men of peace around this ball & refused to hear their ghosts....These men of evil deed can be proven wrong if we join hand to hand with Abraham so not a soul falls off."Griffith's voice has never sounded braver, crying out in the American political wilderness.Griffith does not confront the current conflict, but instead takes a more indirect (and probably more effective) approach by focusing on the Vietnam conflict."Old Hanoi" focuses more on the regression and polarization of that war, "Where is the eloquence of the ladies on their bicycles?Dressing in their au dias in the lotus flowered nights of Indochine; They rode to progress; They've flown away.""Heart of Indochine" likewise revisits the horrors of conflict, "Oh, deliver me to the river of souls."On her lovely CD, "The Girl I Found," singer/songwriter Julie Gold sounds more like Carole King on "Mountain of Sorrow," a post 9/11 elegy.Nanci Griffith gives the song a powerful reading with her expressive vocal, "How high the top must I climb?Ever blue ... when can I stop & be fine, knowing I'm over you?"

    "Before" written with Le Ann Etheridge is delightful Cajun-flavored track that is a repeater in my changer.My very favorite is Clive Gregson's "I Love This Town" with Jimmy Buffett on guest vocals & the insistent toe tapping beat, "Still we can do just as we please, as long as no one's watching."Tom & Jennifer Kimmel's "Angels" that I have on an early 90s lp by John Farnham is remade into pure gold with Nanci's glorious chorus, "We're lifted up by angels, higher than the world."Co-writer Keith Carradine does a guest vocal on the set's closer "Our Very Own" that boasts a charming melody."Hearts In Mind" is musically successful and a gutsy statement from this excellent musical artist.Bravo!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Her Best In YEARS
    After several years of tinkering with the style of music that put her on the map (with usually decent, but mixed results) Nanci Griffith returns with her best album of mostly original material in more than 15 years.Yes, this album is her best of original material since "Little Lover Affairs" back in 1988.

    Kicking off with the song "Simple Life," co-written and sung with up and comer Elizabeth Cook," the album finds Nancy touching on many of the same themes that she has explored over the years.Her interest in Vietnam continues with "The Heart of Indochine" and "Old Hanoi".Long term Nanci fans will delight in the literally reference that later song makes to the great writer Graham Greene as well as to the Sylvia Plath inspired "Back When Ted Loved Sylvia."

    Wonderful produced by Griffith and pat McInerney HEARTS IN MIND has a host of guest artists including Jennifer Kimball, Jimmy Buffett, Clive Gregson, Mac McAnally and the aforementioned Elizabeth Cook.That a gorgeous jazz flavored track like the appropriately titled "Beautiful" can find a home on this album without seeming out of place rings as a real testament to the fact that Nanci's muse is well on target.

    1-0 out of 5 stars bad
    nanci needs to get back to her roots. I would just like to hear some new work from the "old" nanci. This cd is terrible

    5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful!
    This may be Nanci's best album/CD ever.I love it.I have tried to choose a favorite song from the CD, but there isn't one song that stands above the rest.It is complete as a collection of songs.And although many of the songs deal with war, after I listen to this CD (while commuting in my car) I feel calm and content and joyful.Even the sad songs are sprinkled with hope.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Griffith Mindful of "Hearts"
    Prime Cuts:Old Hanoi, Mountain of Sorrows, Before

    Some songwriters with a few musical vignettes could paint some provocative pictures of faith, love and compassion that even the nullifidian would take notice.Nanci Grifiith is such an example of the highest order.With her easy, yet heartfelt storytelling style, Griffith has the proclivity to take simple tuneful melodies and bring her characters to life.Taking the themes of war and love as her conversation pieces, this Texan native returns to the mother milk of her art: rustic country story songs with compelling messages.Digging deep into the song's tissue, Griffith's take of Julie "From a Distance" Gold's "Mountain of Sorrows" is stellar.Though written as a visceral response to the 9/11 tragedy, "Mountain of Sorrows" has such a transcendent message of healing that it extends beyond the Twin Towers menace.Collorary to "Mountain of Sorrows," Angels" is an uplifting ode of hope with an almost spoken verses perhaps played at an octave too low for Griffith.Nevertheless, it's a fetching piece that complimentarily brings out Griffith's vocal nuances.

    Inspired by her recent trip to Vietnam, Griffith's pacifisms is brought out through acutely observed songs.Case in point is the surging anguish twang of the dobro-rich album opener."Simple Life" presents a moving plea from a mother who laments over the devastating effects of how war can deprave her of her husband and her children. Contrary to Toby Keith's in-your-face jingoistic approach, Griffith's political views are acutely presented through the gentle sounding ballad "Heart of Indochine" where there's a longing for peace in a city besieged by blood stained and foreign powers."Old Hanoi," with its gentle strumming of the guitar, finds Griffith in search of any vestige of culture in a city that has been pillaged by progress.With a simple plaintive nostalgia, but this time with the focus on the US, "Before" is another catchy ballad bemoaning the truculent effects of loss and changes.

    But war and nostalgia are not the only concerns of "Hearts in Mind."In a celebratory note, Griffith (dueting with Mac McAnally) metered out a more joyous disposition on the blissful "Rise Above the Occasion" written by Blue Moon Orchestra's Ron Davies.While the bluegrassy feel of "Last Train Home" (which first appeared on Griffith's previous "Winter Marquee" CD) certainly makes one thankful that Griffith has returned to using the country card.In returning favor to Griffith for singing on the parrot's latest CD, Jimmy Buffett joins Griffith on the doop-woop Tropicana-infused jaunty "I Love This Town."

    Out of Griffith's twelve studio CDs of new songs, "Hearts in Mind" ranks loftily as one of this singer-songwriter's best.However, there are a few minor tarnishes: the tetchy feministic bent of "Big Blue Ball of War" is uncalled for.Also, despite its sentiments, "Beautiful," a tribute to Griffith's step dad, with its jazzy inclinations is a tad out of place in a country-hued CD.Other than these quibbles, "Heart in Mind," is an album abounds with heartfelt moments; it is one CD that is highly endorsed. ... Read more


    11. Essential Bob Dylan
    list price: $24.98
    our price: $20.99
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    Asin: B000050HTO
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 305
    Average Customer Review: 4.12 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Two discs of music don't exactly provide for a thorough overview of four decades of recording, particularly if the subject of the retrospective is one of the most important and prolific performers of his time. So The Essential Bob Dylan definitely skates over the leagues-deep oeuvre of Dylan, summarizing his monumental first half-dozen years in disc one and skirting over the following 34 years in disc two. Delving into Columbia's three Dylan greatest-hits packages (though curiously purging "I Want You," a genuine hit single in its day), Essential offers only a few surprises, opting for The Basement Tapes version of "Quinn the Eskimo" over the Self Portrait remake that made it onto Greatest Hits Volume II and tossing in "Things Have Changed" from the Wonder Boys soundtrack for completists. But this 30-track overview is designed with newcomers, not Dylanologists, in mind. --Steven Stolder ... Read more

    Reviews (83)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Not essential really...
    Bob Dylan has enough essential recordings to fill 3 CDs and more. But, lets face it, in 4 decades, Bob has had his up's and down's. This collection tries to pick some recordings from all periods of Bob's recording carrer, and unfortunately, Bob has had made some lousy albums and for CD 2 they did not picked the greatest songs and included some preety average songs, to represent some periods in his recording career. I am glad they included 'dont think twice', but I miss something like 'masters of war', 'with god on our side', 'its allright ma', 'a hard rain's a gonna fall', which show a side of Dylan that this collection fails to represent. On the other side, 'quinn the eskimo' and 'I'll be your baby tonight' although are some of his greatest hits, are pretty lame songs. But overall, CD 1 is as good as it can get. CD2 sounds sometimes like a collection of B-sides: 'if not for you', 'you aint going nowhere', 'forever young', 'jokerman', 'silvio', 'not dark yet' , 'everything is broken', could have traded places with 'license to kill', 'I believe in you', 'foot of pride', 'love sick', 'series of dreams' or include more stuff from the 60's, when he really pulled all the stops and changed the face of popular music forever: 'memphis blues again', 'just like tom thumbs blues', 'to ramona', 'hatie carrol', etc.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Mediocre song selection, particularly on disc 2
    I can't really give this collection less than four stars, can I? Most of this music is superb, showing both the breadth and depth of Bob Dylan's talent, and the huge impact he had on popular music.

    But I do believe that the compilers could have made a considerable better record than this one. Dylan's seminal "Blood On The Tracks" album is almost ignored, and the last twenty-five years of his career is (mis)represented by only six songs, most of which aren't among his best.

    Sure, most of the classics are here, including "Mr Tambourine Man", "Lay Lady Lay", "Knockin' On Heaven's Door", "I Shall Be Released" and "Tangled Up In Blue", but "The Essential Bob Dylan" isn't really all that essential. If you are just starting your Dylan collection you should pick up either his two original Greatest Hits-albums, "Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits" from 1966, and 1971s excellent "Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits vol. 2" (the double-disc version), or his two best records of the 60s, "Bringing It All Back Home" and "Highway 61 Revisited". That'll get you started in the best possible manner. And remember - "Blood On The Tracks" is a must-have either way!

    5-0 out of 5 stars bob dylan is great
    this is one of the most beatiful box sets of one of the most talented singers of all times and most of his gems find a place here like times there are a changing,mr tambourine man and blowin in the wind.this is highly recommended for the first time listener who wants an overview into dylan

    1-0 out of 5 stars Aw for chrissake people!!
    Aw for chrissake people!! Just spent 10 or 11 bucks a pop on the newly released and remastered original albums. ITS BOB DYLAN!! There are plenty of superior album tracks on the original albums that these cuts are culled from. For example, you can't have appreciated Bob without ever having heard "Visions of Johana."

    5-0 out of 5 stars Essential
    The key word is essential in many ways. It was a smart move no to call it "The best of" or any of those hokey catch phrases for someone's idea of sample mix.
    There is enough Dylan to satisfy just about anyone. The first hand full of songs were also made famous by other singers and you have to get over trying to compare, unless like me it has always been Dylan first. Later you get to the good songs; He may not have personally thought so, but many of the songs struck a cord with me such as "Subterranean Homesick Blues."
    To understand most of theses songs it would be best to buy a biography or watch one fro A&E. However with out knowing the man behind the song they will still standout in your mind for years.

    Still "The Times They Are A-Changin" ... Read more


    12. White Ladder
    list price: $17.98
    our price: $13.99
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    Asin: B00004Z3M3
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 618
    Average Customer Review: 4.69 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com's Best of 2000

    David Gray's glorious fourth record explodes in a wellspring of spacious, electronica-tinged folk-pop. He uses his bright growl of a voice to memorable effect, chewing on vowel sounds while spinning odes to lost love, the resiliency of young hearts, and the pain of experience. Gray's work finds the universality at the heart of folk music and tweaks it just enough to make it relevant for alternative audiences. --Matthew Cooke ... Read more

    Reviews (350)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wish all current singers were as real as this guy
    David Gray has always impressed me with his ability to remain completely genuine in his rise to fame. His music, and especially his lyrics, have never suffered in order to make himself more palatable to the pop-listening masses. "White Ladder" is his most "studio" album to date, yet the instrumentation is still spare enough to not be overpowering. You can really feel the lyrics in his voice, starting with the opening track, "Please Forgive Me", a great rolling song with a pace just subtle enough to ease you into the rest of the album. Two different versions of his biggest U.S hit, "Babylon", are listed here - both with a different enough sound for the listener to appreciate each. The mood on the album is introspective and at times melancholy, but upon finishing the album, the listener never feels depressed or drained. You still finish the CD with a smile on your face - a testament to David Gray's incredible talent as a singer, songwriter, and musician. A definite thumbs up.

    4-0 out of 5 stars AN OUTSTANDING ALBUM
    I know, I know. You're thinking, "This can't can't be the same guy who listens to Mudvayne, Nothingface, and Slipknot, can it?" Well, it is, and yes, I really did like this album.

    Through guitars, keyboards, pianos, and more, David Gray is able to construct some artistically creative and poetic songs. Some of my favorites are, "Please, Forgive Me", "Babylon (I and II)", "This Year's Love", and "Say Hello, Wave Goodbye". Sure, this is a album that has some very soft songs, but they're good and are not like some of these tasteless, commercial-friendly pop songs. There are real instruments playing, and real feeling to it.

    This is a great album, although there are times where I don't feel like listening to it because of it being so soft, but I do like to listen to it a lot. Don't let the "soft" image fool you. Hey, you're looking at a guy who listens to nothing but Nothingface, Mudvayne, and Slipknot. Just give it a chance and form your own opinions. Listening to a soft CD won't kill you. All in all, I feel that "White Ladder" is a very good album with very poetic songs. This album gets a four our of four stars in my book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Leaves you emotionally stimulated
    After hearing the song 'Babylon' on radio, I decided to buy this cd. I was thinking to myself, there will be only one good track on this cd. After I listened to it, I realized David Gray has to be one of the greatest songwriters of our decade. All the tracks are brilliant on this cd, and each song will touch you emotionally in one way or another. The experience of this cd will leave you thinking a long time about life and life experinces. One track, I particularily love, called 'Silver Lining' made me realize that I was not the only one that viewed our world's plight filled war, sickness, and hate is something we have no control over. We can cover the good up with fake smiles, fake rhetoric, and corrupt governments but the real problems still exist, and David really touched me with this emotional tune.

    Every track is like a rollercoaster ride, and you never know where David will take you. I can assure you, that this cd will be one of the best you ever experienced. Buy this one, because every track is good, well written, and the haunting melodies will leave you breathless.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Who was that?!!
    My husband and I, like another reviewer, were driving along the highway fat, dumb and happy when I heard a song very faintly playing over the radio. I thought "hmmmm" and turned it up and we listened to David Gray for the first time ever (as far as we know). The song was "Sail Away" and when it was over we both said "Who was that?!". It sounded like Bob Dylan a bit and we loved everything about it. Thank goodness, FOR ONCE, the DJ actually said who it was (do you find that if you hope and hope they say who the artist is that they never do?!)-he asked if we people out there listening had heard such good music on the usual stations...gotta say "NO" to that question! We don't listen to pop at all...we're "old" after all....grew up during the Led Zep days and love Steve Earle, etc. Anyway, we still had 100 miles to drive and once we got home I went online to Amazon to see what I could find out about David Gray. Sounds like many others have felt just like we did today. I look forward to listening to all of his work.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Yet Another British Gem
    I remember first hearing David Gray on the radio and thinking that he was amazing. His sound was refreshing and different from the bubble gum pop and rap that had begun to take over the radio waves. I quickly went out and bought the CD and found that the entire CD was song after song of wonderful lyrics and great music. I was so glad to have found him and now own quite a few of his albums. They are all wonderful and I recommend that if you are looking for something with a little more heart, definately check him out. ... Read more


    13. Grace
    list price: $11.98
    our price: $8.99
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    Asin: B0000029DD
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 380
    Average Customer Review: 4.78 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Resembling at times a soft-sung Robert Plant, Buckley was an intuitive vocalist capable of dizzying arabesques and choir-boy sweetness. He is joined here by a tight band for 10 tracks highlighting his stylistic range--Pearl Jam bluesy on "Eternal Life," impossibly serene on Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," art-school noisy on "So Real," Led Zep daring on "Mojo Pin." Unorthodox, this was the debut of '94. --Jeff Bateman ... Read more

    Reviews (418)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Jeff Buckley: lives on in "Grace"
    Jeff Buckley's debut album "Grace" evokes the strongest of emotions every time I listen to his intense lyrics and dramatic voice. How can an album be anything less then beautiful with such truthful lyrics as, "I remember the smell of the fabric of your simple city dress..." and "lover, you should've come over, it's not to late..." Everything he writes comes from the heart, nothing is ever embellished or overdone. An indescribable feeling comes over me when I listen to "Grace." It strikes an intense emotional chord that has never been duplicated by any other artist. Jeff Buckley was one of the few original artists with both attributes of talent and a ethereal voice. It saddens me that I will never have the opportunity to see him live or hear other genius melodies that I'm sure he would have released. Jeff Buckley's life and career ended too soon when he left the world in 1997. Though he is gone, his honest words and beautiful, confessional music lives on in "Grace."

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best debut by anyone---would have been #1, one day.
    Grace is an album that young musicians hope to make and experienced musicians hope they can be remembered by. He certainly left his mark on the singer-songwriter world, influencing popular acts such as Lisa Loeb and Radiohead front-man Thom Yorke. Grace is deeply rooted in the classics, (Led Zeppelin etc...) and makes no attempt to distract anyone from Jeff's golden pipes with feeble attempts to sway an ever-changing audience. His confidence is overwhelming seeing as though he choose to cover Lenoard Choen's Halleluiah and the old standard Christian carol. His band, led by the soft yet convincing hands of drummer Matt Johnson, is certainly nothing to sneeze at considering Jeff co-wrote some of the songs with them. His live show was the perfect complement to this soon-to-be quintessential 90's album. It was complete with broken srtrings and spitting,and swearing, and the music was well above the standards of any youngster in that room. (July 15, 1995 Danforth Music Hall, Toronto, Ontario) God rest his talented soul.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
    This is undoubtedly one of my favorite discs. When the album originally came out I was overwhelmed by the range, ecclecticism and rawness of Buckley's voice and lyrics. His covers are also adeptly rendered.

    Buckley's talent is lost on some, but anyone with an appreciation for creative and daring musical exploration will enjoy this collection. Years after first buying the album I still have it in "active rotation." This is not for everyone. Buckley seems to be a love him/hate him artist, but he managed to indelibly mark the musical landscape and is often cited by other illustrious artists as a point of inspiration and reference.

    5-0 out of 5 stars haunting, sweet, heavy, light, flawless, broken
    Any attempt I have made so far to describe this album to those who have never heard it has fallen far short of the power of actually playing it, but I must try again, I always do... it is not music for the background, or for a party... It is haunting, it is sweet, it is perfect and flawless and yet broken and, at times, heavy with the emotion of a sinner. Yet also it is light, in songs such as "Hallelujah", a constant favorite. Every song is full of various emotions, and they are not simple or wonderously happy. They are the feelings of one who lived a life, however short, full of misery and yet found a way to leave that behind. Buckley was different from the rest of us, its true. Everything he felt was hundreds of times stronger than a normal person should feel. And yet, his music is not complaining, it is just feeling. You can adapt the beautiful lyrics and quavering,(perfect) voice to any feeling you may be having, and be immediately lifted by the beauty you hear.

    It is beauty. It is perfect. It is also ironically indescribable.

    5-0 out of 5 stars a classic!!!
    anyone that would call this cd crap is a goof and that is what he ate for dinner.what a fool!long live jeff and tim.now go home and listen to boy george!!! ... Read more


    14. Best Of Peter, Paul & Mary
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $13.49
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    Asin: B000002KHJ
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 368
    Average Customer Review: 4.46 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential recording

    Warner Bros. did with the CD release of the 1970 vinyl LP 10 Years Together: Best of Peter, Paul & Mary what every label should do with CD reissues of vinyl compilations. They took into account the longer length of CDs and added tracks. The original release of 10 smash hits has been fleshed out here with three additional tracks, including a melodic take on Dylan's Basement Tapes rarity "Too Much of Nothing." Otherwise, it's hits and nothing but hits, ranging from definitive folk interpretations ("If I Had a Hammer") to pop ("I Dig Rock 'n' Roll Music") to Dylan and Gordon Lightfoot covers that compete with the originals and first brought such material to the mainstream. Only "Cruel War" is missing. --Bill Holdship ... Read more

    Reviews (46)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Compilation Of Their Biggest Hits!
    My introduction to contemporary folk music was through my immersion in the innovative music of Peter Paul and Mary early in the 1960s, as they first came to prominence with songs like "The Lemon tree" and "Blowin' In The Wind". Of course, with the advent of the anti-war movement a few years later, they became quite involved, just as they had been in the struggle for civil rights in the American South quite early on. Yet Peter, Paul, and Mary were much more than urbane and well-educated Jewish intellectuals singing traditional and avant-garde folk music. They introduced a whole generation of young Americans and Europeans into a whole welter of cultural ideas and issues that both they and others like Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, and Paul Simon were also dealing with as performing artists. Yet what is central to remember is the fact that the music of Peter, Paul, and Mary came first.

    They acted as the forerunners and popularizers for the work of artists as diverse as Dylan, Baez, John Denver, Gordon Lightfoot, and Tom Paxton. Their early albums were filled with what became standard contemporary folk classics like "500 Miles', "If I had A Hammer", and "Stewball". Yet they also had a number of top-ten hits, the biggest being "Puff, The Magic Dragon', which despite their stringent and consistent denials is about the joys and hazards of smoking dope. They also scored with "Day Is Done" late in their career, and had success with "I Dig Rock And Roll Music", "Leaving On A Jet Plane", and "too Much Of Nothing".

    Also included here are their quite classical covers of songs written by others but made famous as album grist for them, including "For Loving Me" and "Don't Think Twice". Unbelievably, they are still touring, with Peter and Paul now in their seventies, and I am sure they are as terrific on stage now as they were when I first saw them in the Boys' Club gym in my home town one snowy Friday night in December of 1963, about three weeks after JFK was assassinated. They are a part of American history, and this album serves up a wonderful dollop of their original recordings for your listening pleasure and cultural edification. Enjoy!

    4-0 out of 5 stars This is the type of music that made the 60's the 60's
    The harmonies of "Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young", "The Mammas and the Pappas" and "Peter, Paul and Mary" were the cornerstone vocals of the "love and peace" movement. Many of PP&M's songs don't come to mind until I hear them on some oldies station. Then I once again hear that simplistic innocence of yesteryear flood the air waves with the heartfelt idealism that created these masterpieces. When I hear "500 Miles" and "Day Is Done" thirtysome years later, the time warp of today's digital world vanishes. These two are folk music at its very best. Then we have the pop hits "I Dig Rock And Roll Music" and "Leaving On A Jet Plane" and it's the late 60's and early 70's. Both are as fresh today as they were thirty years ago. "Blowin' In The Wind" is Dylan's song. PP&M give a harmonic interpretation but this one needs the cutting edge of Dylan's sarcastic vocals. "Lemon Tree" and "Puff (The Magic Dragon)" have their place but have never held my attention. "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" works well with their style. "If I Had A Hammer" still rings true and right! "Early Mornin' Rain" and "For Lovin' Me" are two of those campfire folk songs that sound good even without the harmonies and snap, crackle, pop of a campfire.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Peter, Paul and Mary have been a great gift to us all!
    This CD is one of those rare times a single CD can demonstrate all the incredible beauty of a powerful group like Peter, Paul and Mary! The CD offers very thoughtful and beautiful classic ballads such as "Blowin' In The Wind," "Stewball," and "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right." "Blowin' In The Wind" is also an example of the group's being willing to take a stand on social and moral issues facing our society. The group's versatility is demonstrated with the song about "Puff (The Magic Dragon," which, although it's a children's song, can easily be enjoyed by adults as well. Although they are mainly folk singers they also celebrate rock and roll music with the song "I Dig Rock and Roll Music;" many thought Peter, Paul and Mary were making fun of rock and roll with this song but they insist they are paying tribute to it-and I think that they are. The CD ends with the song "Day Is Done" which is defiant of the evil in this world. This song includes a good sized chorus and adds a triumphant flair to the end of the song set.

    The artwork on the CD is very good; but unfortunately the only photo we get of the group is very tiny on the front cover. The sound quality is excellent. There is a brief history of the group although it about them in the 1960s when these songs were originally recorded. I only wish that lyrics had been included!

    I recommend this CD for Peter, Paul and Mary fans as well as fans of folk music. This is also an excellent choice for music lovers who want a superlative introduction to the group if they are as yet unfamiliar with their work. We are better off for having their music and Peter, Paul and Mary should be congratulated as well for not being afraid to deal with social and moral issues throughout their long history!

    1-0 out of 5 stars PIECE OF GARBAGE!
    How can people actually call this piece of garbage music? It is disgusting. NOne of them , not Peter, not Paul, not Mary can sing. This is idiot music! Puff the magic dargon, indeed! I can't believe anyone over the age of 3 liking that dummy song. Come on, there is such a thing as music in the world, why buy this? This is only for cheesebrain old geezers who actually remember when the age of music was like this. STAY AWAY!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Don't Think Twice- - -It's Alright To Buy This CD!!!
    The Folk Era of the early '60's is long behind us, most suitable these days for parody (such as the recent Christopher Guest movie A Mighty Wind), or for good old fashioned reminiscing. It's easy to see that the (relatively) few folk artists that have stood the test of time had real talent, whether lyrically (Bob Dylan, of course), musically (Joan Baez) or both (The Kingston Trio). After almost fifty years, the music of Peter, Paul and Mary still sounds to these old jaded ears as fresh as, well, a new breeze blowin in the wind. This trio of course had loads of talent, both lyrically and musically, and helped not a few songwriters along the way (John Denver, Gordon Lightfoot, and the aforementioned Mr Dylan). On furthur reflection (having enjoyed this album in LP form for many years), it seems to me that the songs that have best stood the rigors of time are those sung by Paul Stookey. "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright", "I Dig Rock and Roll Music" (featuring hilarious parodies of Donovan and the Beatles, and especially, the Mamas and the Papas. Mary does a perfect Cass impression!), and most glorious of all, "Early Morning Rain," with Paul's lowdown and dirty (yet smooth) delivery making the most of Gordon Lightfoot's lyrics. Outasite!!! Mary Travers is limited to just two lead vocals, but both are outstanding: the lyric, whistful "Leaving on a Jet Plane," and the achingly beautiful "500 Miles" (later covered splendidly by Bobby Bare). Peter Yarrow's songs are not as strong, with the exception of "For Lovin' Me" and that most fabulous stirring ballad about "Stewball," the racehorse worthy of a king. Brilliant! However, "Puff, the Magic Dragon" is quite charming, but not great, and "Day Is Done" is almost forgettable. Luckily, all three members of the trio take the lead on several songs: the rousing "If I Had A Hammer," "The Lemon Tree" (OK, well maybe just Paul and Peter sing lead on that one), "Too Much of Nothing," and the unforgettable classic that started it all for Mr. Bob Dylan, "Blowin' In The Wind", still utterly moving after all these years. Fabulous!!! So, get Best of Peter, Paul, and Mary right away- - - and don't think twice about it!!! ... Read more


    15. Impossible Dream
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $13.49
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    Asin: B0001LJCZ2
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 340
    Average Customer Review: 4.58 out of 5 stars
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    Patty Griffin's considerable promise is fully realized on Impossible Dream, her fourth studio album. Dixie Chicks fans who loved the trio's cover of Griffin's "Top of the World" will find the blueprint take here, but it's just one of several standouts. "Useless Desires" and "Don't Come Easy" show Griffin in her prime as a heartfelt folk-rock singer-songwriter, while "Love Throws a Line" and "Standing" offer intriguing bluesy/gospel counterpoints. "Kite" nearly floats away on a subtle piano breeze that personifies its mood of Sunday-afternoon solitude. The zenith is "Mother of God", an emotionally wrenching seven-minute masterpiece that begins as a heavy-hearted rumination before transforming midway into an abstract refraction of pure musical radiance and lyrical reassurance, like the cocoon setting loose its beautiful butterfly. --Peter Blackstock ... Read more

    Reviews (59)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Literally took my breath away the very 1st time I listened
    I have NEVER bought an album before that literally took my breath away. Not to mention it gave me chills and almost made me cry...at the first listen. I just kept waiting for a song that I would skip past, and there are none on this album. Patty is a lyrical genius, her voice is amongst the top female voices out there, and she can't write a bad tune. Every song on this album not only is entertaining and beautiful, but it takes you somewhere and makes you have all kinds of feelings. All the songs are unique and have a different flavor from each other. Patty can do folk, blues, gospel, and she still rocks. Kite Song and Rowing Song are like child hood lullubyes, Cold as it Gets is pure and raw folk, Useless Desires and Florida send you soaring and everything else cuts you deep.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Antidote for the Musical Blahs
    For those like myself who find Norah Jones' music bland, here is an alternative. Patty Griffin sings as though her life depends on it, and perhaps ours too. These songs contain memorable melodies and penetrating, at times mysterious lyrics, and it's one of those albums where there's no filler. I get goose bumps from certain music, when a combination of melody and voice somehow transforms what I'm hearing into more than "just music". It doesn't happen often. The classical composer Gustav Mahler is good at giving me goosebumps. Likewise, I get goosebumps in several places on this album. Mahler and Patty Griffin have almost nothing in common musically, but listening to both I feel as though they put me in direct touch with something beautiful, unsettling, and deep.

    5-0 out of 5 stars impossible to get out of my changer
    I now know what it must be like to be heroin addict. Since buying this cd a month ago, I have been unable to keep from hearing it at least once a day. I am particularly addicted to
    "Useless Desires" and "When it Don't Come Easy". I do not believe I have ever heard two songs on the same cd that have ever had this effect on me. And now, sadly, I am discovering how great the remainder of the album is. I may never be able to get it out of my changer. At least I still have five other slots.

    The combination of Patty's writing and vocalizations is something
    so rare, I can't think of any current singers other than Don Henley who compares. Buy this cd and you will surely be compelled to explore more of Patty's undeniably brilliant work.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Holy Mother of God, this is great
    I have been a fan of Patty's since Living With Ghosts, and I must say that this album contains some of the best songs she's ever written. Patty knows the power of interesting lyrics entwined with emotionally charged music. Just listen to Kite Song, Useless Desires, or When It Don't Come Easy, and you'll be hooked. Flawless album...buy it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars She's brilliant
    Geez...Did Michael E Chase listen to the same ID as me?

    I would think even a music listening novice would recognize the effectiveness of repeating a word or phrase in a song, especially when that word embodies the spirit and meaning of the song. It's not always clever and cryptic lyrics that make a song great. Cripes... How many times did Mick Jagger say "I can't get no satisfaction" anyway?

    Still, Patty writes amazing lyrics (Useless Desires, Florida), Michael E Chase's opinion notwithstanding. So if you're thinking of purchasing this album, don't let one man's opinion change your mind. ... Read more


    16. Live from Austin, TX
    list price: $17.98
    our price: $14.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007Z9R0W
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1021
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Austin City Limits tends to bring out the best in the musicians it showcases, and Richard Thompson is the sort of artist that the series reveres most. The veteran British folk-rock troubadour remains an instrumental virtuoso, a soulful singer, and a songwriter whose depth and emotional complexity rival Dylan's. This 15-song set provides neither a career-spanning retrospective nor a greatest-hits rehash, as Thompson's selection of some of his lesser-known material shows that he's incapable of writing a throwaway. The rhythm section of bassist Danny Thompson and drummer Michael Jerome gives his guitar plenty of room to maneuver on the acoustic numbers that dominate the performance before the set builds to the electrifying climax of the lacerating "She Twists the Knife Again" and the explosive "Shoot Out the Lights." On "Uninhabited Man," Thomspon combines a guitar progression that recalls the Byrds with a lyric that gives a sinister twist to the tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, while the pensive, sinuous "Ghosts in the Wind" extends his exploration into the recesses of the psyche. Though Thompson's droll humor typically provides a change-of-pace respite from the dark intensity of his material, this disc edits out all the between-song patter in favor of more music. --Don McLeese

    Recommended Richard Thompson Discography


    Fairport Convention, Unhalfbricking

    Fairport Convention, Liege & Lief

    Fairport Convention, Full House

    Richard & Linda Thompson, I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight

    Richard & Linda Thompson, Shoot Out the Lights

    Hand of Kindness

    ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best singer/songwriter of our time
    The other day, my best friend, whose name happens to be 'Rich',
    was trying to explain to me how much he liked this song, "1952 Vincent Black Lightning." I had never heard it before. Odd, considering I've been an avid Richard Thompson fan for over 30 years, since seeing Fairport during their last tour - in 1976 - before Sandy died. At any rate, Rich went on to tell me how he had found out the song was written by Richard Thompson. And he said, "Man, does that guy write everything??"


    The more I thought about it, the more it occurred to me that Richard Thompson has written every song with any meaning that I've heard for at least the last 15 years. From the haunting "Just The Motion," with its rocking guitar solo and suicidal edge, to the venerable "Genesis Hall" (a song RT performed at my request twice); from the wonderfully manic
    "Little Blue Number", woven with an out-of-the box krummhorn accompaniment that just isn't allowed, to the intense rocker "Living On Borrowed Time," this gifted musician is neither predictable nor limited, and he gives a hell of a performance, besides!


    It really doesn't get better than this. Oh, by the way, I finally got to hear "1952 Vincent Black Lightning." Kinda like Dylan -- only better!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A lively, muscular sesson
    I think nearly everyone has heard a Richard Thompson recording, seen him in concert, or both, so many folks may bypass "Live from Austin, TX," figuring why do I need this one? To do so would be a mistake, even for those with a stack of Mr. Thompson's CDs.

    This performance, which was recorded live to tape for the "Austin City Limits" PBS show, features songs from throughout Mr. Thompson's long and steady career, some of which are not as well known as the tracks 1952 Vintage Black Lightning or Shoot Out the Lights. But throughout, Mr. Thompson brandishes his guitars like a weapon, ripping off searing solos or letting his fingers do the talking to convey emotional nuances. He is equally adroit on his vocals, conveying pain, adding a dash of humor, underscoring a turn of events with a bit of a sneer or a sustained note.

    Every track has its merits and its own story, from the self-effacing Walking the Long Miles Home to the undeterred love-struck soul in Persuasion. Hearing Mr. Thompson take an image, such as the jackknifed truck in Easy There, Steady Now, and using that as metaphor for lost love makes one appreciate what a fine writer he is. The angst that builds through She Twists the Knife Again mercifully culminates into a fiery guitar finale, making one wonder if the strings are infused with magnesium.

    Much of Mr. Thompson's work is as a solo artist, and while that work is enduring, hearing this collection performed with the excellent rhythm section of Danny Thompson on bass and Michael Jerome on drums is a revelation. This trio of veteran musicians never sounds at cross purposes but displays a subtle interplay equally effective with on the jazzy Al Bowling's in Heaven or the punchy rocker Crawl Back (Under My Stone).

    The sound quality is excellent, but Mr. Thompson's typical onstage banter (if you have seen him live, you know what I mean) and enough of the applause has been snipped out---which I think improves the overall flow and energy of this lively, muscular session.

    ... Read more


    17. Gordon Lightfoot - Complete Greatest Hits
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $9.99
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    Asin: B00005YW4N
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 518
    Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Though he rose from the ranks of journeyman '60s folksinger to become apotent and consistent '70s hit maker, Canadian singer-songwriter GordonLightfoot's stock in trade was as much hard-eyed, dispassionate observation asromance or poetic whimsy. Perhaps that's why his songs have been covered byeveryone from Elvis (thisset's "Early Morning Rain") toDylan. If there's such athing as an alpha-male folkie, Lightfoot certainly fits the bill. Spanning thetongue-in-cheek chauvinism of 1965's "For Lovin' Me" and the cheatin' ways of"Sundown" to more introspective fare like "If You Could Read My Mind" and"Beautiful," this 20-track collection presents a concise primer on Lightfoot'scareer and craft. After his career peaked with one of the most unlikely top fivehits ever, the gloom-laden 1976 narrative "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,"Lightfoot's production tailed off sharply, though this anthology's "Stay Loose"('86) and "Restless" ('93) are testament to his enduring skills as a songwriterand performer. --Jerry McCulley ... Read more

    Reviews (30)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Terrific Compilation Of Gordon's Greatest Hits!
    I have always been a fan of Canadian Gordon Lightfoot's music. From the first time I heard Peter, Paul and Mary's wonderful covers of Lightfoot songs like "Early Morning Rain" and "For Loving Me", I knew anyone who could write songs like that was a huge talent. So when I got turned onto his own voice and music I was astonished by just how good he was (and still is). This is a perfect album because it traces the course of his rather singularly spectacular career so faithfully. T the song cycle presented here is unforgettable, because it has so many terrific Lightfoot songs back to back. From the first song in this incredible four CD collection, he shows why he is so famous and so popular. And likewise he threads his way through twenty something beautiful and memorable songs, from the early works like to later works like "Sundown", "Rainy Day People", and "If You Could Read My Mind'.

    And so on with each of the songs here. My personal favorites are "Sundown", "Carefree Highway", and "Beautiful", but I really love them all. There are literally way too many to list here, so I will resist the temptation to list them all. In addition, one gains access to a number of lovely later songs such as "Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald", "The Circle Is Small", "Baby Step Back", and one of my all time favorites, "Race Among The Ruins". If one listens to all of the similarly terrific albums Lightfoot put out over more than a decade one comes up with literally dozens and dozens of wonderful and memorable songs that fill this great compilation, which wonderfully summarizes Lightfoot's long and illustrious career. This guy was far more prolific than anyone else producing work in the sixties, seventies and eighties. Buy this compilation album, and after listening to it for a week or so you will be back for "Sundown", "Don Quixote", "Summertime Dream", "Cold On The Shoulder" and "If You Could Read My Mind". They are all great. Enjoy this one of a kind artist and his amazingly consistent flood of terrific and appealing mainstream folk albums.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Greatest From The Greatest
    OK, I'm a devoted fan. I admit it. But this 20 song collection is just the best single CD hits collection there is. Of course, when you look at the song titles, you will know that it has to be.

    It is the first Lightfoot single CD greatest hits collection to have the original version of all of his top charting songs, and also his original recording of songs that were hits for others before he was well established as a singer. So you find If You Could Read My Mind, Sundown, Carefree Highway and Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald - the original recordings - as well as beautiful early recordings of such folks standards as Early Mornin' Rain, For Lovin' Me and Canadian Railroad Trilogy. In the only departure from "original" recordings, The Circle Is Small is the rerecording from Endless Wire, but this is the recording that charted. And, in his inimitable style, Lightfoot personally selected the final cut, the song Restless from the out of print 1993 album Waiting For You. Lightfoot loves the song, and when you hear it - perhaps for the first time - you will too.

    So, put together, you have an outstanding single CD collection - for the casual music lover or for the devoted Lightfoot fan. Even if you have all these songs on CD already (and the devoted fan probably does), you don't have them sounding like this! The remastering is unbelievably exquisite; it is almost hard to believe, but some of the songs sound even better than on the Songbook boxed set! There are four songs here that aren't on the boxed set, and these sound much better than on the original CD. Also, two of the hits are from the single (vs. album) mix, so they really are somewhat different.

    The single mix of If You Could Read My Mind includes harmony vocals (by Lightfoot) that are not on the album version. The boxed set used the album version of every song (that had been on an album ever), while here Bill Inglot (who did the remastering for both Rhino Lightfoot releases) went to the single. The single version was also previously used on Gord's Gold, but the sound doesn't compare.

    And for Sundown also, Inglot went to the single. I still don't have a definite explanation of the difference, but you have only to listen to this cut and the one from any other CD and you will know you are hearing something different. And really great.

    Finally, Rhino has packaged this new greatest hits CD in their characteristic loving manner: full of photos, biographical text, and complete track notes. Thane Tierney (who co-produced the boxed set with Lightfoot), is the producer of this collection and he has done himself proud.

    If you don't have it yet, what are you waiting for?

    1-0 out of 5 stars Sad song selection
    I was so diasappointed by the selection of early UA trax on this CD, it now sits in the used CD section of my favorite CD store. What could have been an awesome CD, is only mediocre at best... Sorry Thane. Where are his best UA songs, Did She Mention My Name?, I'm Not Sayin or Ribbon of Darkness??? Several songs on here are below Lightfoot average -- why Go-Go Round (very amateurish) & Pussywillows (peraps the most boring song ever written). A great opportunity -- lost...

    5-0 out of 5 stars Complete Canadian Class - Terrific
    One of my favourote singers of all time. The is a marvellous collection of classic Lightfoot tracks. All the hits that this very underrated singer-songwriter had, either himself or by others' interpretations, are here from "Early Morning Rain" through "If You Could Read My Mind" and "Sundown" on to "Restless". OK, there are some obvious omissions which other reviewers have, quite rightly, pointed out.

    Lightfoot was one of those who had the tag of "the second Bob Dylan", which is like having a monkey on his back. They are very different writers, with Lightfoot being a dispationate observer and reporter of love, the wonder of Canada, great events and all with a wonderful baritone voice.

    His usual band - Terry Clements, Red Shea, Rick Haynes, John Stockfish and Pee Wee Charles - deserve a mention. They hold it all together and enhance Lightfoots delivery.

    Lightfoot's recent (September 2002) illness and long (many months) hospitalisation will have shocked and horrified his fans. However, they will be relieved that he it is reported that he is on the way to full recovery. More good news is the imminent release of his 20th album at the end of April 2004.

    As for this collection, it shows just what a top class artist he is. If you are new to Lightfoot, you have the choice of albums to introduce yourself to his music. You could buy the 4-CD box-set "Songbook" - 5 hours of glorious Lightfoot. Or you could buy "Gord's Gold" (the first album - not Vol. 2), which has some of other tracks; or you could have this. Personally, I would have them all, as the man is a genius. In fact, spend some serious money and buy ALL his albums.

    4-0 out of 5 stars I could play this from sunrise to "Sundown".
    Seems like it would be hard to better "Gord's Gold", but this did. This collection is perfect for the average fan. 20 tracks including "Carefree Highway", "If You Could Read My Mind", "Beautiful", and the excellent "Sundown". Also here is "The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald", which other collections miss. Something about "Gordon Lightfoot" stood out among the other 70's singer/songwriters. Be it his looks or voice, he was gentle, yet more masculine than others in the genre, and some of his songs even had a western vibe to them. Dare I call him cool? Highly recommended. ... Read more


    18. Live at Blues Alley
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $13.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000009PO2
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 584
    Average Customer Review: 4.79 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    When Eva Cassidy is swinging her way through "Cheek to Cheek" and getting down and bluesy on "Stormy Monday" on this live set from 1996, it's nigh impossible not to get swept up in her voice's vast, barreling force. Her full range, though, becomes most obvious--and soul-shaking--on the slower side, as with Paul Simon's "Bridge over Troubled Water," Buffy Sainte-Marie's "Tall Trees in Georgia," and "What a Wonderful World." On these latter tunes, Cassidy's mix of aching clarity and rich warmth has a melting quality, speaking through the body to some evanescent presence that she seems to know all too well. She improbably makes Sting's "Fields of Gold" an emotional powerhouse just as easily as she makes Billie Holiday's "Fine and Mellow" an offhand declaration of feeling equal to nearly anything in the jazz vocal canon. In doing so she earns her place among the great singers--artists who could take any song and stamp it indelibly as their own. What Eva Cassidy had in her short life was an unbelievably perfect voice and a musical soul that grasped gospel, folk, blues, jazz, and all points in between as if they were mere stops on a single train ride. Alas, her ride ended in 1996, tragically early. --Andrew Bartlett ... Read more

    Reviews (109)

    5-0 out of 5 stars this cd will rarely leave your cd player, it's that good.
    the first time i ever heard eva cassidy was 3 years ago, on a local dc jazz station (which, sadly, has since gone off the air). it was the song "what a wonderful world," which i normally find cloying. but eva's clear, strong, beautiful vibrato cut through my work day and made me sit back and listen. wow. when i went to buy the cd at the store i was looking for an african-american woman on the cover. i was shocked to see a blue-eyed blonde, looking folkie and meek, on the cover. but my god, the woman has the soul, depth and power reserved for the best of the best, including mahalia and 1960s aretha.

    this cd, all covers, ranges from swinging jazz to traditional folk to blues. eva handles it all with incredible control and taste, with real singing and not the pyrotechno crap you hear on the radio these days. her range inspires awe, especially on "golden thread," in which she reaches a note that would give anyone else a hernia. her interpretation skills are amazing; she manages to breathe new life into songs that have been covered hundreds of times. particular standouts are "autumn leaves," "tall trees in georgia" and "fields of gold," all of which will make you cry; "golden thread," which is as spiritual as any hymn; and "fine and mellow" and "cheek to cheek," which are fun and sexy. the band is also in top form, keeping the sound tight and crisp while giving eva the spotlight.

    eva's passing robbed her of what surely would have been a big, long career, and us of an enduring talent. buy this cd and you will not be disappointed.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Not the best Eva recording but still something truly special
    At this stage, what is there to be said about the genius of Eva Cassidy that hasn't already been said a thousand times before?

    All I can add is that you have never heard Ms Cassidy's voice before, I PROMISE that you will love it. Absolutely and completely fall in love with it. Eva's voice bypasses the head and instead goes straight to the heart. Once it is there you won't be able to remove it.

    This CD was my introduction to Eva Cassidy and while I think the selection of songs could have been better, it is clear that she is a unique talent. I don't want to give the impression that this isn't a good record - quite the opposite; it is on occasion truly magnificent with Oh, Had I A Golden Thread and Tall Trees In Georgia being among Eva's best recordings and two of the most moving songs I have ever heard. It is a great place to start your Eva Cassidy collection - buy this CD, fall in love with it, then move on to Eva two crowing artistic acheivements Eva By Heart and Time After Time. That's the way to do it!

    I don't joke when I say that the music of Eva Cassidy has enriched my life more that I thought any singer ever could and I am sure it will do the same for you.

    5-0 out of 5 stars If God wants you to own only one disc, THIS IS IT.
    Hands down, the best music recorded ever, and i believe, eternally and a day.

    The Artist/s. Eva Cassidy is so impressive and versatile on this disc. Words are not enough to describe her. She massages and caresses each and every note that would make your hairs literally stand from your skin (I call this a hairstanding ovation). But wait, unlike other Eva discs, this Blues Alley recording puts the other musicians (Chris, Lenny, Keith and Raice) right smack there in the center. A total BAND effort. And that makes it more exhilirating for me. The drums, the guitar licks, the bass, the piano . . . all were perfect.

    The record. Another thing that makes this record such enjoyable is that it is recorded live in a very HOME-y set-up. You go to your house, put the disc in, you sit in and close your eyes and youll be mesmerized as the music comes alive, complete with a FEW claps from the relatively small Blues Alley (unlike in massive concerts). So, you'll get the feeling that they are REALLY performing at your house/room when you close your eyes. The recording is so great that the disc is now being used as a tester for branded speaker companies.

    The songs. The songs herein would fit for almost any person. I love rock, and there's song #11. But I also love blues, so there's song #2. And man, song #3 or Bridge Over Troubled Water, now that's what I call sensuality in spirituality! You got to hear it. Then there's the songs Cheek to Cheek, Fields of Gold, What A Wonderful World and a lot lot more. Each song, perfect.

    Overall, this disc WILL MOVE you in a way you've never felt before. To quote from someone, it's the "best glimpse of heaven yet." And it sells as how much? $30 was it? Nahh, this is priceless. Buy this, thank me later.

    If you haven't bought any Eva disc yet, start with this, then American Tune.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing
    I first heard of Eva Cassidy in 1987 when I performed in the DC area... She was amazing then, and I wish to God she were with us today.

    I have bought this CD for countless friends and family members, and they have all been bowled over. Everyone that I purchased this for is in the music business. Contrary to one reviewers opinion...Eva Cassidy embodies soul, and I love Ella, and Louie and many other great performers from yesteryear, but again, contrary to another reviewer, if Eva were alive today, she WOULD be at the top of the charts month after month.

    Everytime I hear her rendition of a popular standard or cover tune I think..."it will never be done any better than that!"

    Please order this, and as many of her other albums endorsed by her family as you can...you will NOT be disappointed. She is truly amazing.

    5-0 out of 5 stars wow.
    I cannot tell you in words... how this cd moves me. There are a handful of songs on this cd that are sung with such depth and soul... you cannot help but fall in love with it.

    I get a chill down my back just listening to the cd right now. If you want a cd that will touch you right there - right there on your heart - music that speaks to YOU as if she is singing directly to you.... this is the cd to have. ... Read more


    19. Here Come the Choppers
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007Z9R7U
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 763
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Folk's most engaging open wound, Loudon Wainwright III, returns with a dozen new tunes that range from the acerbic to the affecting to the profound. "My Biggest Fan," the album opener, skewers every well-meaning slob who fights his way backstage to prove his merit. "No Sure Way" takes a subway ride into an elegiac past. And "Hank and Fred" walks a circuitous path to link the great Hank Williams with Mr. Rogers. But as usual, Wainwright best burrows into the brain with songs of 3 a.m., head-holding pain, e.g., "Had to Be Her," in which he declares that "love is a lesion." Things get darker from there, believe it or not, and shrinks have labels for what most of these songs evoke. Wainwright, deftly and notably backed here by Bill Frisell on electric guitar and Greg Leisz on lap and pedal steel guitar, never bores, and he never disappoints. But buyer beware: The Prozac nation had best keep its distance. -–Alanna Nash ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars We need More Loudo
    It's always like getting a letter from an old and interesting friend when a new Loudon record comes out.You can't wait to open the thing and see where he's at.

    My favorites recordings are some of his more recent records so I'm inclinded to like the later era Loudon the best.As always, he's original and fresh and open.And funny.I find the music pretty cool on this one though at first it was odd.Now I dig it.

    That's all I'm going to say about it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A continuing saga that is Loudon
    This guy's brilliant. Some people think he's a very bitter dude, but these are the folks that just don't get this guy. He sings songs that represent all of us; it isn't always about just him. He's never been afraid to let us know how he feels, and it's made for some interesting listening over the years; this one's no exception. And yes, Loudon's sense of humour is as sharp as ever. This disc showcases a fuller sound than his last couple, and I think it works very nicely here. We need more raw musicians like this today. People with guts that put it out on the line for us to hear. ... Read more


    20. Fisherman's Woman
    list price: $15.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007YMUHK
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1128
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Album Description

    "Home alone and happy / Nothing brings me down" So opens Emiliana Torrini’s second album, a soft-yet-searing collection of twelve intimate and atmospheric songs that will whisper their way into your bloodstream. Back in 1999, when the singer released the critically acclaimed Love In The Time Of Science, Emiliana came out with a gorgeous, electronic trippoppin’ vision of endless summer and moonlit nights out. Following her departure from One Little Indian, there’s a new introspection, closer to Nick Drake or Jolie Holland than Portishead or Goldfrapp. The 27-year-old singer and writer has nonetheless been busy since Love In The Time Of Science. She moved to Brighton, joined the cast of Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers to perform the enchanting ‘Gollum Song’ wrote and toured with Thievery Corporation, and wrote a Number One Hit for Kylie Minogue in the shape of huge-selling pop smash "Slow." ... Read more

    Reviews (6)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful voice but disappointed.
    When I purchased this album I expected something much more similar to "Love in the Time of Science" her 1st album.This is too mellow even for my wife.It reminds me of when Natalie Merchant left the 10,000 Maniacs.She had a cool voice too but it needed some good musical accompaniment.I realize recording artists have to change their sound here and there but this was too much.

    4-0 out of 5 stars *sigh*
    acoustic, intimate and breathily soft, a non-jazzy-blues-ish version of norah jones. quite different from her previous album, which triphoppily falls under the electronica genre. i first heard her in "crazy/beautiful" (song entitled "to be free"), remembered her name, found this album last week at a nearby music cafe, bought it, and have been listening to it eversince. icelandic like bjork, and reviewed as a bjorkish artist (it's funny though--i can't stand bjork's music. i appreciate her lyrics, though).

    5-0 out of 5 stars From Scientist to a "Fisherman's Woman"
    Making her American debut in 1999 with the flawless and intense "Love in the Time of Science", Emiliana Torrini established herself as one of trip-hop's finest and a muscician to watch for years to come.After a six year hiatus, along with a song on the "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" soundtrack ("Gollum's Song"), collaborations with Thievery Corporation, and writing a #1 dance hit for Kylie Minogue ("Slow"), she is back--and with a new sound strumming from her fingers."Fisherman's Woman" is a complete revolution from "Love in the Time oc Science", drenched in melancholy folk music.Ms. Torrini has incorporated so much nature into this album, focusing on hurt and recuperation, that it sometimes sound as if her and her production team fled into the remote forests and lakes of Iceland, recorded music and came back to see what had come into the mix.Some beatiful things include the creaking of a boat, the lovely way in which Torrini strums her guitar and, of course, that voice.She cooes and swoons her way through her music, allowing listeners to feel her pain and happiness, then relies on her guitar to do the rest, which does quite well.What is amazing about this album is how she has gone from hard-core trip-hop ("Love....") to folky acoustic music.In all, it is an amazing sophmore album and a great step in her creativity.Fitted for a lazy afternoon or an hour of creativity, "Fisherman's Woman" is bound to make you want to be that very fisherman of which she speaks.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Emiliana Torrini's Most Accomplished Yet (4.5)
    Emiliana Torrini emerged around 1999, at least in the US and most of Europe, heralded as a voice belonging to Bjork's coven, a comparison I always found more related to their common homeland, Iceland, than a deeply strong sisterhood of sound.
    Although 'Love In The Time Of Science" did bring to mind some of Bjork's occasional lullaby-like phrasings, and the album's arrangements did rely on subtle and timely Electronica, Torrini was already promising to be her own person, someone with something genuine and personal to say.
    The thought that came to mind -please allow an unexpected metaphor here- is that the songs follow each other like geese migrating toward warmth, each of them distinct yet flying at the same altitude and with a common destination.
    "Fisherman's Woman," her new album, is that promise fulfilled. Her voice, in this new album, is more confident, more decisive while never raising beyond a tender hush, a perfect tone to deliver lyrics that are at once revelatory, thoughtful and yet innocent and uncomplicated.
    But don't let the sweetness of these tunes confuse you about the strength of their confessional power. Whether it is the short title song, the painful and beautiful "Today Has Been OK," or the gorgeous melody of the album's first single, "Sunnyroad," Emiliana weaves images into stories that you may feel she's only singing to you.
    Equally worthy of recognition are the melodies and the band, particularly Dan Carey -who plays some unassumingly beautiful and intelligent guitar, as well as bass and pedal steel- and the subtle piano of Julian Joseph. This and the intimacy that Emiliana's voice is capable of, also shows decisively in "Snow," and "Lifesaver" with its bewitching cadence and the brilliant sample of the creaking wood of a boat swaying.
    If you come to Torrini for the first time, I can't imagine you not finding enough to remain near, for repeated listenings. And if you were already touched by Emiliana's earlier releases, I predict that you will be elated with this album. She has become her own self yet more deeply, an old skin has shed and made space for a new one.
    This is a brilliant album, confirming a voice and a sound that has much more offer to new singers than it owes to the ones that precede her.

    5-0 out of 5 stars different performance, same sublime beauty
    *This is the same review I posted for the import version of this album.The two versions contain the exact same content, so I thought my review might also be useful here*

    Torrini's sophmore album bares little resemblance to her first masterpiece, "Love in the Time of Science." "Fisherman's Woman" is strictly a light, acoustical production with none of the deep bass lines or trip-hop flare of her previous work. What Torrini preserves, however, is her wonderful gift of poetic songwriting.

    As one can infer by the album's title, "Fisherman's Woman" evokes feelings of a simplier life and times. Arrangements are beautifully minimalistic, assembled with great care to accentuate Torrini's breezy voice and laymen's lyrics. In "Love in the Science of Space," her voice often seemed to play second fiddle to the wondrously rich music. In "Fisherman's Woman," however, Torrini's voice clearly takes center stage, with sparse stringed and percussive instruments serving as accompaniment.

    Like her previous album, I don't believe there are any particular standouts simply because I find every song wonderfully engaging (I suppose if I had to pick, track #6, "The day has been okay," is very endearing). Torrini's two albums serve as a strong testament to her consistent skills as a lyricist and songwriter. For whatever reason, many musical artists disappear after their second showing. I pray Torrini does not join their ranks. It would be an utter shame to lose a bonafide creative talent in today's sea of mediocre performers pretending to be true artists. ... Read more


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