Remember the hype on this? Everyone and their dog proclaiming it to be Album of All Time before it was even released. What do you all think now? Probably that it's ok, that it goes on a bit or that Van Dyke Parks arrangements are as beautiful as they were on first listen. Or maybe you love it like your only child. It's certainly an ambitious work, harps topped off with a squeaky door on tunes that wander thither, hither. If nothing else it still is a unique piece of music.
Vinyl Double LP £22.40 DC303
2LP on Drag City.
CD £11.38 DC303CD
CD on Drag City.
It must being hard being Joanna Newsom - I mean you try playing the harp, squeaking and being so goddamn kooky all the time. After reading ecstatic reviews in every publication from 'Heron Fanciers Monthly' to 'Chainsawing Your Face Right Off Quarterly', I decided to check this record out. What I heard astonished me but possibly not in the way you are expecting.
Ok ok opener 'Emily' is very nice even if it does go on a bit, Van Dyke Parks strings are simply scrumptious. But after that it kind of trails off into aimless songs that kind of just wander about. I have played this album 3 times and each time it has sounded progressively worse. I promise you that in 2 years time you will put this record on and exclaim 'What was I thinking??!!!' . Perhaps the wild press has made me expect too much - something that would truly knock my head off - the album is Is ok, different from anything else about but really compared to the stuff its being compared to and the reviews its getting its not that special.......and no I won't be going to see her perform this live with a 32 piece orchestra because the idea is just totally preposterous. Seriously, does anyone really need a 32 piece orchestra? What do they all do? Also I hear that she coming back next spring performing it on ice with dancing dwarves......or was that ( like parts of this record) some kind of horrific prog rock inflected nightmare?
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