Downtown Church

January 26, 2010 | Format: MP3

$10.49
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4:16

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: January 22, 2010
  • Release Date: January 22, 2010
  • Label: Credential Recordings
  • Copyright: (C) 2010 Credential Recordings
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 47:01
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B0032PAM62
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,204 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

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See all 61 customer reviews
It is so pure and lovely, it almost feels... well, sacred.
D. B. Hutchens
Patty Griffin shows with this collection of material that great music performed with heartfelt passion is truly beautiful and timeless.
Paul Stafford
I have been playing this CD in my car ever since receiving it.
Janniepoo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

102 of 105 people found the following review helpful By D. B. Hutchens on January 26, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I, like lots of others, was a little worried when I heard that Patty Griffin's newest effort was a gospel/spirituals recording. For me, the concern wasn't so much that I dislike the genre, but that I couldn't bear a Patty Griffin album full of someone else's lyrics. Patty is one of our great poets, and the world needs the gift of her words -- weary, wise, and every now and then containing a glimmer of hope and light.

As it turns out, this genre has plenty of that, and Patty Griffin seems right at home on the stage of that downtown Nashville house of worship. "People steal / they cheat and lie..." So begins the record, and over the course of 14 tracks Patty Griffin struggles between light and dark that lives inside us. It's epic, and very, very beautiful.

I know a lot of folks aren't fans of "gospel," but the good news is that this record really has more of an "O Brother" arthouse feel that will play nicely in the kitchen when friends are over.

Check out "Death's Got a Warrant." It's a capella except for the thudding percussion that sounds like God stomping across the floor as he comes after you.

The first time I heard the final track, "All Creatures of our God and King," I had to stop what I was doing. It is so pure and lovely, it almost feels... well, sacred.

The revelation on here is Patty's voice. Honestly, I don't think she has ever sounded this good. "I Smell a Rat" is a showstopper, and man is she is spitting nails. I didn't know she had it in her.

I'm ready to place "Downtown Church" near the top of her brilliant catalog. Like the rest of her work, it is full of sadness and a weary awareness of the darkness around us. But this time she's carrying a fire and although there are never guarantees, a little bit of light just might break through.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Colin Spence on January 26, 2010
Format: Audio CD
With 'Downtown Church', Patty Griffin presents the listener with a selection of gospel/religious songs including several traditional numbers. I think she has one of the most expressive and soulful voices to be heard in popular music today; compared with earlier albums, her vocals have mellowed a little, but she hasn't lost any of her distinctive emotional and soulful edge - it's still there simmering away. 'Downtown Church' was mostly recorded in Nashville's Downtown Presbyterian Church with Patty singing from the pulpit; she is joined by a number of other artists, some of whom have accompanied her on recent tours (see sample playlist).

I don't think the album quite re-captures the stridency and raw emotion of 'Living With Ghosts' and, with only 2 self-penned songs, it's not an album which showcases her skill as song-writer. However, I feel it represents a significant departure from 'Children Running Through' which, in my opinion, was an album of music produced and performed with a wider and more mainstream audience in mind. By comparison, 'Downchurch Church' has a definite organic feel to it - noticeably more so when compared with the soulful 'gospel-pop' of 'Up to the Mountain' or even the cathartic 'Standing' from 'Impossible Dream'.

Instrumental accompaniment is semi-acoustic with keyboards and electric guitars (but they are never intrusive), and the drums/percussion (on some songs) give the album a little more rhythmic impetus than most of her others. The songs are mainly slow to medium tempo, but there are a few up-tempo ones also; some comments about my favourite songs :

HOUSE OF GOLD (Hank Williams) - A haunting rendition of this country-gospel classic with lyrics which define its apocalyptic mood.
Read more ›
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By F Arnold on January 28, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I reviewed this on the UK site when I had just heard it streamed live. Now I have had the album for a few days and it is possibly even better than I had thought. An album built very much around gospel songs, it has enough of Patty's 'typical' sound not to put off those who do not take to gospel.There are wonderful backing singers on this album, from Emmylou Harris to Raul Malo to Regina McCrary, there are exquisite instrumental touches from a superb selection of players led by Buddy Miller (who persuaded Patty to record this album in the Downtown Presbyterian Church in Nashville, giving it an authentic feel) and above it all soars Patty's voice, the best in modern popular music. This is the only artist whose I can put on repeat time after time after time. Difficult to say why her and not others, but her voice, her story songs, her empathetic backing are all absolutely timeless. For real gospel inspiration, listen to Move Up or If I Had My Way, For rocking rockabilly try I Smell A Rat. For a different take on a jazzy classic, listen to Wade In The Water and for 'typical' Patty listen to the beautiful Coming Home To Me or Never Grow Old. And to round it off there is an outstanding version of the old spiritual We Shall All Be Reunited and a charming straight rendition of the classic hymn All Creatures Of Our God And King, with just John Deadrick on acoustic piano. This is the album of the year so far, and if I hear a better one all year, I shall be delighted but very surprised. Essential listening and an even more essential purchase. Brilliant beyond words.
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