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Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away

4.6 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

BRAND NEW - STILL FACTORY-SEALED IN SHRINK-WRAP. Songlist includes: CRY / HARD TO BELIEVE / BEYOUND LOVE / GREEN MOUNTAINS AND ME / RUN JOLEE RUN / DREAMS / BLACK T-SHIRT / TUMBLEWEED STEW / TWISTIN' / BEAUTIFUL THING / TEMPORARY. Cleaves continues in the great folk singer/songwriter tradition of Dylan, Seeger, & Woody Guthrie. Well-worth listening, he'll make you a believer.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 24, 2015)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Candy House Media
  • ASIN: B001TIQTQ6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,186 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tim Brough VINE VOICE on April 24, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I've long posited on Amazon reviews that Slaid Cleaves is America's best working young folksinger and one of our finest interpretive singers. I considered his Unsung to be one of that year's best records. Yet, he has outdone himself on this album, "Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away."

This is Slaid's most political and least romantic album to date. The feel bad album title should be a dead giveaway right off, but the subject matter skirts into some bleak territory. "Hard To Believe" looks hard at a midwestern town that is slipping into oblivion as the factories shut down and the first person's romance leaves. And then he tucks in the barb "Here comes another blown up kid from over there, making the whole world safe for the millionaires" as the blue collar remainders head for the local watering hole. It's a part of the hidden bite to all the songs here; Slaid sings in a honey-rough voice that belies the sting of his words. Many of the folks in Slaid's song still live (as he has put in many of his albums) on the whiskey and smoke, but now they are wondering why they've been forced to swallow a "New coat of lies."

The mundane horror of life keeps popping up again and again, like the new widow on "Green Mountains and Me," who learns of her loss as she watches "your Daddy shakes the soldier's hands, frozen in the doorway where he stands." Or the horrific/deadpan delivery of the hanging that takes place on "Twistin'." Like the coal-mine widow he sang of on Broke Down's "Lydia," family loss is just a recurring dream that never seems to lose its sadness...
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Format: Audio CD
Austin singer-songwriter Slaid Cleaves returns with an album of Americana whose quiet beauty belies lyrics of deep resignation. Just as Springsteen's anthems can obscure his bite, Cleaves presents his songs with an offhandedness that, on the surface, offsets the despondency of his words. The angst of love's vulnerability, the political, social and economic polarization of a new gilded age, and the human misery of war are just a few topics that lead Cleaves to close with the fatalistic proscription "live well and learn to die, soon in the dust you'll lie, with everything you know / Cruel death will not spare, the wise the young or fair, let's drain this cup of woe." The album is titled Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away, after all.

Cleaves sings with a warmth that infuses an element of hope in the crushing blows he delivers. Is there hard-won pain or only a clever couplet in singing "Every man is a myth, every woman a dream / Watch your little heart get crushed when the truth gets in between"? Is there bitterness or repudiation in "Here comes another blown up kid from over there / Making the whole world safe for the millionaires"? Probably a bit of each. The deftness with which he explicates characters in a perfectly framed, heartbreaking moment is breathtaking; he highlights the comfort and torment memories create in a war widow with the lyric, "I lose a little bit of myself with each tear I wipe away," and captures the humanity of hookers in their attempt to keep warm on a Christmas Eve stroll.

Even when singing in the first person, Cleaves is more of an observer than a participant, and when he reports, it's with a keen eye. His story of an old-time hanging, "Twistin'," is an uncomfortably business-as-usual outing that connects to a devastatingly modern indictment.
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Format: Audio CD
A year ago, I'd never even heard of Slaid Cleaves - now I'm hooked; I have 2 of his previous albums, 'Broke Down' and 'Unsung'. When I first listened to 'Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away', I thought 'it sounds different'; and having listened to it several times since, that initial feeling has been reinforced.

SC's songs often feature lyrics about ordinary people who find life a struggle just to get by, or those who have experienced personal tragedies and/or a deep sense of loss; many of the songs here continue to follow those familiar themes. However, a darker side to his writing is beginning to emerge, and this is particularly noticeable on 'Green Mountains and Me', 'Twistin'' and 'Beautiful Thing' - either way, there's not much (if anything at all) on this album which will fill you with 'the joys of Spring'. The songs are mainly slow to medium tempo - 'Hard To Believe' is the only up-tempo one to speak of (and it 'rocks a bit' too).

For a man now in his mid-40s, it's remarkable how youthful his voice sounds - something which sets him apart from many of his contemporaries. His 'matter of fact' delivery of the songs belies the potency of their lyrics - a qualitative combination that would spell out a recipe for disaster for some artists. But with SC, his somewhat impassive vocals serve only to emphasize the intensity of the lyrics - then again, with some songs I detected just a little more edge to his singing than on previous albums.

As with 'Broke Down' and 'Unsung', the playing is elegant but, on this album, I thought it wasn't quite as restrained.
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