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An Invitation


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Audio CD, August 12, 2008
"Please retry"
$15.16
$11.00 $2.50

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Frequently Bought Together

An Invitation + All Rise + Please Clap Your Hands
Price for all three: $33.14

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 12, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Everloving
  • ASIN: B001B0H7CM
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,892 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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10. Don't Let It Get You
11. Oh My Love
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13. Night Happens

Editorial Reviews

2008 s epic odyssey An Invitation is a lush and sweeping
collaboration with Van Dyke Parks that the Wall Street Journal
called urbane and lots of fun. Inara is also part of The Bird
& The Bee and The Living Sisters.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Michael Leddy on August 22, 2008
Format: Audio CD
"An Invitation" is a collaboration across generations and a recording to treasure. Inara George and Van Dyke Parks go back a long way -- to 1974, when Inara (daughter of Little Feat's Lowell George) was born.

"An Invitation" is much like a theater-piece, complete with overture and a closing "Good night, good night to all of you." The songs are beautiful and spare; George sings them in a strong, cool, unstagey voice that makes the meaning of every word register. Her poignant and witty lyrics offer varied glimpses of someone in love, desirous, self-abasing, jubilant, ruefully self-aware, still hopeful. Parks' arrangements for small orchestra are elegant and endlessly supportive.

"An Invitation" is inviting. I've listened to this CD five times in two days, and will be listening again and again. It's contemporary music of the highest order.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By John S. Harris VINE VOICE on August 15, 2008
Format: Audio CD
The review title says it all. I count myself extremely fortunate that I stumbled across this record by accident. It was the happiest accident I've had in years.

A beautiful voice, sometimes quirky tunes, and the amazingly lush arrangements by Van Dyke Parks.

I can't stress enough how delighted I am with this record. The orchestral arrangements are so beautiful I could even listen to the record without the vocals and still be taken by it.

No, you don't have to be a fan of this-or-that type of music to enjoy it. Rather, you just have to have a sense of and appreciation for the carefree whimsy of songwriting and music in general.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mark L. Ayala on December 26, 2008
Format: Audio CD
The L.A. Weekley mentioned in passing that the great Van Dyke Parks had made a new album with someone I've never heard of. First thing I did whne i got home was check on Amazon for this album. When I saw the album, I was worried. It looked like it could be potential hipster garbage. So, I took the risk, coughed up thirteen bucks, and bought the CD.

I remember when I opened the brown Amazon box, I was very impressed by this little CD's colorful and cute packaging. As soon as I noticed the little rabits and birds in the pile of food, I couldn't help it, but smile in glee. I went straight toward my stereo, plopped in the CD, and hit play.

What I heard threw me off. It sounded like Van Dyke Parks, with all the odd key changes and lush orchestration for smaller broadway style groups. Then on the second track came the vocals. I usually avoid most contemporary music so I was caught off guard when this quiet, mousey, jazzy voice came through the speakrs, singing something closer to poetry than just lyrics on a page.

I listened to about half the album, and then had to go somewhere. Everyday since, I've avoided that and tried listening to it the whole way through everyday. Every song has a simple joy to it, something severally lacking in art today. This CD is most definatly up there with the best contemporary popular music albums I've heard in the last few years.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Mash on January 15, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I love Inara George and own all her CDs including her solo work, Merrick, and Bird and the Bee. Unfortunately I did not like her collaboration with Van Dyke Parks on An Invitation. The orchestra music drowns out her voice and is a constant distraction making hard to detect the melody of the song. I have played it several times but find it a noticeable dissappointment compared to how much I have enjoyed all her other music.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rebekah Jarvis on March 5, 2010
Format: Audio CD
After finding and thoroughly enjoying this artist's first album "All Rise", I went in search of more of her music and found "An Invitation". At first, I wasn't sure exactly what to make of the intriguing, but rather strange sample clips, but I figured I'd keep returning for another listen out of sheer curiosity if nothing else, so I made the purchase.

I'm so glad my curiosity got the best of me in this case - it has been months now and I've listened to this album so many times, but it still sounds as startling and fresh as the first time. "An Invitation" is a challenging and intellectual collection of flitting strings, sneaky bursts of woodwinds, and twirling, counter-intuitive melodies. The instrumental arrangements are demanding and are as much of a "voice" as the beautiful vocals, forming more of a duet than a backdrop.

This album is evocative and theatrical. Like some of my other favorite albums, it is one of those pieces of music that become almost multisensory the more attention you turn toward it, inspiring both images and sensations. Visions of a dramatically-lit concert hall or a black and white film rolling along on stage in a gilded theater tend to spring to mind when I listen to this music. There's a quality of nostalgia here, a jazzy feeling that reminds me vaguely of the 30's and 40's music my grandfather loves (incidentally, he likes this album too, since I introduced him to it!).

It is easy for me to rave about this album, but at the same time, it's not one I'd easily recommend - "An Invitation" is such a strong flavor and will not appeal to everyone. It is pretty obstinate about not fading into the background, a real show-stealer.
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