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Bitter Tea

The Fiery FurnacesAudio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

Price: $14.38 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 15 Songs, 2006 $12.99  
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I’m Going Away is the Fiery Furnaces’ Eighth album. It was recorded by and mixed with Jason Loewenstein at the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 in New York City. Jason also played bass and Robert D’Amico played drums. All songs were written together by Eleanor and Matthew Friedberger, except for the title track, which is “trad. Arranged by.” Eleanor wrote ... Read more in Amazon's The Fiery Furnaces Store

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Bitter Tea + Widow City + The Fiery Furnaces EP
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 18, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: 2006
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Fat Possum Records
  • ASIN: B000EQ5Q86
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #271,744 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. In My Little Thatched Hut
2. I'm In No Mood
3. Black-Hearted Boy
4. Bitter Tea
5. Teach Me Sweetheart
6. Waiting To Know You
7. The Vietnamese Telephone Ministry
8. Oh Sweet Woods
9. Borneo
10. Police Sweater Blood Vow
11. Nevers!
12. Benton Harbor Blues
13. Whistle Rhapsody?

Editorial Reviews

Bitter Tea is the latest installment from the Brooklyn based The Fiery Furnaces. the multi-instrumental brother and sister duo continue with their eclectic backdrop of experimental yet undeniably catchy melodies that set the stage perfectly for Eleanor's distinct vocals. Fat Possum. 2006.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
I've been trying to be "ready" to review this album; don't know if that adjective could ever apply to anything having to do with the Fiery Furnaces, so here it is. _Bitter Tea_ is another revelation from the Friedberger siblings & co. They return to the form they "honed" on _Blueberry Boat_, for a large part, while retaining some of the strategies of _Rehearsing My Choir_, specifically Matthew's extensive use of the tack piano, which gives the songs more of a vaudevilian feel than ever, which is especially entertaining when the chord progression sounds like something from a death metal song (you know, pulling off from an F to an E power chord, such as bands like Soundgarden, Ministry, Metallica are so fond of doing; imagine that on a parlor piano). It says on their website that they once more will be only guitar, drums, and bass on the road because the tack piano is way too much to lug around. It will certainly be a treat to hear the punkier versions of the songs on _Bitter Tea_ live (if indeed they come any where near your geographical area; keep your fingers crossed), as the FF's are great at interpreting themselves.

And that's what it seems they are all about, to a great extent: self-interpretation. The Friedberger's embark on little odysseys of their subconsciouses (and therefore ours). Where does this lyric come from?: "My mother in law was standing by the stove/ hissing like a snake, hissing like a snake,/ hissing like a snake./ She gave orders to spill my blood;/ she gave orders/ to spill my blood, I thought" ("Teach Me Sweetheart"). Well, I'm not sure EXACTLY what Eleanor could be getting at here.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music-hall madness June 10, 2006
Format:Audio CD
The Fiery Furnaces got a lot of flack for their last album, a concept album about their grandmother's life. So fans will be glad that in "Bitter Tea," the eccentric musical siblings go back to what they do best: Music-hall madness.

This album has a less organic feel than their previous work, suggesting that Matt and Eleanor Friedberger are seeing what they are capable of. But their music hasn't changed too much: bizarre dance melodies, oddball songs and psychedelic slashing all make this an intoxicatingly weird experience.

It starts off with one of their best songs: the "Little Thatched Hut," with its sinuous dance beat, joined in by piano and acoustic guitar. But it doesn't stay static -- I don't think the siblings could stay musically still that long. The song explodes suddenly into bursts of electronic swoosh, tribal beats, and what sounds like a keyboard being strangled.

This sound continues over several other, full of electronic fuzzling between energetic piano and mellow acoustic guitar. And they also harken back to the Furnaces' previous albums, with "Benton Harbor Blues" sounding like a charming B-Side from their second album, and "Teach Me Sweetheart" is a charmingly muddled (and kind of gruesome) love ballad. Lots of bloodthirsty relatives!

But the Fiery Furnaces try out some new sounds as well, as several songs are more electronic-based than their prior work. The title track is a real rock song, and it's pretty dense and psychedelic. Elaborate swooshes, explosions of synth and wacky little samples are all laid over a dancey melody that is as infectious as it is bizarre. Though it's less organic, it's recognizably a Furnaces song.

Even after five albums, the Fiery Furnaces still don't get the recognition they deserve.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Far out!!! April 19, 2006
Format:Audio CD
Now that many of the leading 'indie' bands have decided to take four or five years in between albums (ie The Flaming Lips, Built to Spill, Modest Mouse, Radiohead, etc.), thankfully we have the Furnaces here to provide us with their sonic explorations every six months or so. After the challenging 'Rehearsing My Choir' many fans are probably expecting a return to accessibility from the Friedbergers (something along the flavor of EP or Gallowsbird's). Well, if you mean accessibility as a return to song structure as opposed to narrative format from the 'grandmother' album then... sure, okay. But Bitter Tea is FAR from accessible. This is one strange album that is overflowing with abstract themes and ideas. Think Blueberry Boat was weird? Check this one out and your definition of strange may be refined. This album will likely annoy and detract many of the people who thought 'Choir' was over the top. However, for those who enjoy some of the stranger things in life, this is right up your alley. Each one of the 13 tracks shines with individuality and a creativeness that has been lacking in the music industry for some time now. There are hooks galore in this album, albeit buried under the weirdness that may only surface after the tenth or so listen. Not recommended for the casual listener... But anybody who is as obsessed with Eleanor and Matthew as I am, this record is absolutely essential.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
At this point, it basically goes without saying that the Fiery Furnaces are not for everyone. Last year they felt obligated to push their reputation from "yet another recent eccentric indie band" to "the quintessential recent eccentric indie band" with Rehearsing My Choir, an instant slam dunk into the vault of conceptually fascinating records that are referenced more than they're actually played - right alongside the Flaming Lips' Zaireeka, Dylan's Self Portrait and, dare I recall it, Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music. Even when irritating or unbearable to listen to, these were the sorts of albums over which hardcore music buffs and critics (especially the late, great Lester Bangs) absolutely loved to chit-chat, argue and wage war. The Friedberger siblings' newest creation, Bitter Tea, is neither as alienating as Rehearsing My Choir nor as delectably poppy as their gem-stuffed EP from earlier that same year. It also isn't as deliberate or definitive as their magnum opus, Blueberry Boat (and we really should be glad for that - reproducing that monster would border on self-parody). Instead, it's the first record of theirs that exists comfortably in the context of their prolificacy: jammed with ideas and tricks, easily recognizable in tonality and mood, arguably genius without being undeniably solid.

The roles of each of the siblings have grown more dynamic over the past four years, and while this record certainly coalesces better than the free-for-all that was their last album (winding, impenetrable stories and dialogue from Eleanor and her grandmother backed by haphazard baroque keyboards and a mishmash of studio tinkery from Matthew), the delicate tension between the two remains.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars bitter tea is a fantastic album!
this fiery furnaces album is catchy and eccentric. i really love it. item shipped quicker than expected which was great because it made it on time for my sister's birthday! Read more
Published on October 23, 2011 by z
3.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious!
The kids really crack me up. Especially this album. I laughed all the way to the checkout cart.
Published on July 24, 2009 by lebvendors
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing seller and amazing music
This special offer by the seller came to me in great condition, at a very low price, and arrived quickly.
Published on May 18, 2009 by Nathan Szendrei
5.0 out of 5 stars Bitter Bitter Bitter Tea
One of my favorite Fiery Furnaces CD's. If you like this group, you must have this CD. Innovative, inspired, transcending reality - this is one awesome brother-sister combo!
Published on February 26, 2009 by CSCAGS
4.0 out of 5 stars Odd Turns
The Fiery Furnaces have always had a strange place for me, owing much to the fact that i was introduced to them by a beautiful girl who later tore my heart out and used it to store... Read more
Published on June 16, 2008 by Christopher J. Bennett
3.0 out of 5 stars A maddening, disjointed affair; go back to the Boat!
Fiery Furnaces continue to push the boundaries and explore (fall into?) bizarre moments of strained musicianship crafted by noisy whooshes and arrogant bleeps. Read more
Published on July 5, 2007 by Matthew T. Medlock
5.0 out of 5 stars A new paradigm
When i first sat down and really listened to this album, the first thought that came into my head was, ' I have a new standard by which to judge music.'
Published on December 22, 2006 by Ghengis Cohen
3.0 out of 5 stars Portishead married They Might Be Giants
Haven't given it a thorough listen, but the subject line about sums up my first (second) impression

If you love Portis/TMBG then you'll probably like this.
Published on November 26, 2006 by D. Higbie
3.0 out of 5 stars Not entirely bizarre...
Took me awhile to get into this CD. And I mean awhile. I rate it three stars because even though the best on this CD is great, there are a few songs that could be better if the... Read more
Published on November 25, 2006 by Nat Zorach
1.0 out of 5 stars God Awful.
I believe that the "EP" has some great moments like "Here Comes the Summer," which recalls Bowie. But this album is trash. Read more
Published on September 26, 2006 by Alex Fencl
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Topic From this Discussion
2 versions?
This one is an import with a bonus track. That and about $11.
Apr 24, 2006 by Joshua Messer |  See all 2 posts
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