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Beautiful Door


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Audio CD, July 24, 2007
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 24, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: New Door Records
  • ASIN: B000RIWASA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #294,769 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. It's Just Me
2. Restin' Your Soul
3. In The Day
4. Beautiful Door
5. I Gotta Grow Up
6. Hearts Like Mine
7. Carnival Girl
8. Always Countin'
9. Pretty People
10. I Can Tell You
11. Hope For Glory
12. The Boy Is Gone

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A collection of twelve tracks, BEAUTIFUL DOOR, is a lyrical, sonic story about life and death, beginnings and ends. A blend of roots rock, country, and folk, the musical genres Billy Bob Thornton has always loved most, BEAUTIFUL DOOR is the follow up album to his third solo release in 2005, HOBO -- and like HOBO, BEAUTIFUL DOOR is a collection of songs Thornton intended to have listened to as an "album," in its entirety. "The album had to have a sequence. And even if it's not an A+B+C song type of story-- BEAUTIFUL DOOR is still a sonic landscape that both musically and lyrically flows from one track to the next."

Amazon.com

Awright, den. Karl Childers's alter ego arrives on his fourth solo album mired in memories, awash in tears for too many lives and relationships that ended too soon. He's mournful for the war and the misguided politics that begat it, for a friend who suicided out, for a woman who broke his heart, and for a boy who died too soon. Unlike its predecessors, Beautiful Door seems stuck in a time warp of the '60s and '70s, from which it draws much of its lyrical inspiration and musical framework (folk, country, and roots rock, all a showcase for cowriter Brad Davis's eloquent, punch-in-the-gut guitar playing). Billy Bob Thornton doesn't so much sing as speak over music, his gravelly Arkansas drawl occasionally sustaining pitch long enough to approximate a melody. But his forthright vocals here owe more to The Edge of the World than to the whispery Private Radio or Hobo, though guest Graham Nash is so underground (on three cuts) you'd need a Geiger counter to find him. As his own producer, then, Thornton puts the focus squarely on the songs, which seem the private writings of a man who lives an intensely insular life, not an internationally known actor/director. Ghosts float across the ceiling throughout--the leadoff track, "It's Just Me," takes the point of view of the suicide who refuses to abandon the living, while the second song ("Restin' Your Soul") tells the same story from the companion left behind. Two other confessionals ("I Gotta Grow Up" and the winsome "Hearts Like Mine") may reference ex-wife Angelina Jolie. If the social commentary of "Pretty People" arrives DOA, Thornton turns drolly novelistic on the honky-tonking "Carnival Girl," an encounter with an unusually confident midway worker ("Her bottom lip and both ears were linked by chains/She even had a tattoo on her aura"). Consider Beautiful Door another strange visit with an artist who isn't afraid to put himself on the line. --Alanna Nash

Customer Reviews

"Door" is definitely an eye-opener for me.
R. Kyle
His voice is exactly what it should be for the songs that he writes.
Bill Allison
I promise, if you appreciate good music, you won't regret it.
S. Allen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Bill Allison on July 24, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Hard to believe it's been this long, but "Private Radio" was my favorite record that came out in 2001. Thousands of listens and several copies later, that album has not lost one ounce of punch and I still break it out frequently. "Edge of the World" (2003), despite a few flaws, was by far and away my favorite. I loved the story it told by weaving together so many different styles and it still stays on heavy rotation in my truck or on my ipod. I thought He could never top that one. There was a certain magic going on that could have had to do with the personal drama he had going on at the time. It was (and still is) one of the most ambitious albums, in my opinion, since Willie Nelson gave us "Red Headed Stranger". Unfortunately, it wasn't as well recieved as it should have been. The combination of so many styles kinda threw people off, and the mere fact that Billy is not what one would call a "crooner". His voice is exactly what it should be for the songs that he writes. Their sorta mini-stories about (or told through the perspective of) the everyday folk. The guy or gal who takes your money and gives back your change at the local convenience store. That one guy that no one seems to notice, sitting alone at the end of the bar staring at a half-empty bottle of High-Life. The lonely. The misunderstood. The brokenhearted. The downtrodden. Their all there. It's the same sort of approach that he used when he wrote out the characters in "Sling Blade" and "Daddy and Them". It all translates seemlessly into his songwriting and delivery.

"Hobo" was a unique and great effort in its own right. It was on a smaller scale and with that one, he found a certain vibe and stuck with it. The theme was about California being "the new frontier" and it was sorta semi-autobiographical.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By S. Allen on July 26, 2007
Format: Audio CD
As a country music lover, I was pleasantly surprised when I listened to Billy Bob Thornton's latest record, Beautiful Door. I've already listened to it over and over, and enjoy it more each time. It's easy to hear that music is Billy's true passion - his talent really comes through in the awesome music and great lyrics. Even if you didn't like Hobo, or some of his other albums, check this one out. I promise, if you appreciate good music, you won't regret it. Defnitely a "5." No question.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By John D. Noonan on July 27, 2007
Format: Audio CD
The first actor-gone-singer that I feel is worth listening to. This guy writes good music with very intelligent lyrics. Also, he is not just another shallow Hollywood member.

Every song here is great.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By DanD VINE VOICE on August 4, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It's possible that BEAUTIFUL DOOR is Thornton's best since PRIVATE RADIO. That debut record will always be my favorite, if just because I stumbled upon it by chance, and it subsequently changed my outlook on music as a whole. But enough about me and how Billy Bob Thornton influenced my musical philosophy (or theology; we could debate endlessly on terms); let's move on to more (de)pressing matters--BEAUTIFUL DOOR.

DOOR is, indeed, beautiful, in its stark despair ("You say you want to talk about a better world/But you've closed that beautiful door") contrasted against hope for a better future (a minute-long chant of "hope for glory," the meaning of the phrase changing from a condemnation, to a prayer, to a motto). Thornton spends much of his time looking back, often with a despair so deep it pains you to hear it ("Something's wrong when you can't find meaning since 1972"), occasionally with wry humor ("I gotta grow up/I gotta go to work/Quit countin' on luck/Even if it hurts"). He spends his time with a carnival girl who has the stare of a twenty dollar prostitute; bemoans a suicide; blames the pretty people for the world's problems; wishes a lost lover a good life; counts his pills instead of eating them; and basically sings of life on the other side of the tracks. And it all comes off as authentic.

The authenticity isn't the only thing that keeps the album flowing smoothly; Thornton cowrote all of the material with guitarist/producer Brad Davis, and also provided all the drum work. The result is an album that is a piece of art; dark art, yes, and art that is just a few steps away from being too morbid to admire--but do we care? No, we do not. Thornton is no crooner. Do we care? Absolutely not.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Beth Redden on September 16, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I've only heard two songs from this, on Pandora, and I'm so excited to get the CD (I ordered it here last night), excited like I haven't been about music in a long time.

Private Radio is still in my work playlist, four years on. When my heart hurts, when my soul aches, it never fails to soothe me. When my brain is numbed by moon/june overplayed country radio, it never fails to challenge me. When I'm lonely to the bone, hearing it feels like finding a cherished friend.

Edge of the World and Hobo didn't strike those chords for me. But even so, I ordered this one just because it was only ten bucks and I was "voting with my card," so to speak. Even if one of BBT's CDs doesn't grab and hold me like Private Radio, I consider it money well spent to support an artist and his work.

So today I was chopping veggies for some homemade marinara to use up a batch of tomatoes and dialed Pandora in for its lack of commercial crap. I called up Billy Bob and got two songs off this CD, Beautiful Door and Restin' Your Soul, and was struck by how his voice has improved. Cynics will say it's the production that's improved, but technotweaking can only go so far. It can't put something in a voice that isn't already there, and I hear resonance and confidence.

I can't wait to hear the rest.

Billy Bob, if you ever read these reviews, and I hope you do, thank you.
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Topic From this Discussion
Billy Bob's Latest CD
You're SO right, J. Billy Bob is a true wonder and has remained true to his Arkansas roots. I LOVE "BEAUTIFUL DOOR!" His lyrics are so thoughtful and moving! I had the chance to see Billy perform at the El Rey Theatre, in Los Angeles. It was a phenomenal show! He is also producing... Read More
Aug 10, 2007 by Joanystar |  See all 3 posts
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