11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 1998
I first read about Victoria in the LA Times, in an article about how she got her recording contract, etc., etc. A year later my mother-in-law bought me the album and it became one of my favorites. Williams has a voice that takes a little getting used to (kind of a Yoko Ono/Shirley Temple hybrid), but it grows on you, and I ended up listening to the album non-stop.
Much has been written about Victoria's battle with multiple sclerosis, which has gotten her a lot of press, but which I think unfortunately deflects attention from her artistry. The quality of the writing and playing is awesome - deceptively simple - and listening is like entering a parallel, more colorful and childlike, world. I highly recommend this record.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 1999
This is the only Victoria Williams CD I have. The initial listening can be somewhat disarming. Ms. Williams has a distinctive warble and delivery that is both sincere and truly unique. Her sweet, goofy, insightful lyrics are especially unassuming and fresh in a deceptively simple, child-like way: the songs are innocent, but not naive. She's backed by a great band, showcased on "Statue of a Bum." Some find her lyrics almost embarrassing, and I can understand how people might find her voice irritating, but I think most of this CD is a real charmer.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2007
Speaking as a songwriter, if you are a songwriter and you don't own a Victoria Williams CD, you need to purchase them all as quickly as possible. Trust me, her voice will grow on you if you let it. "Happy Come Home" is probably one of the boldest and most original debut CDs ever. Clearly, music oozes from the pores of this woman in a wonderfully unique and naive way. Unfortunately, modern music consumers aren't sophisticated enough to make Victoria wildly successful, which is a shame considering songwriters like her only appear every few decades.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
What I especially like about Victoria Williams's music is how different one song is from the next. Her repertoire of musicality never seems to be depleted. "Happy Come Home" is definitely such an example of versatility and variety. Each song could be part of a Broadway show--a story by song.
"Shoes" is how we get about, unencumbered. There's no need to pack because we can find more shoes anywhere. Now who would think to sing about shoes: wallowing in the mud, tramping bushes, wearing out soles, having carefree fun! Victoria, of course! A most noticeable aspect of any Victoria CD is the quality of the musicians. Stand-out instruments on this song are bass clarinet, violins, and harp. What an unusual combo.
"Merry Go Round" tells us the key to the merry go round is merry and fairy in fairy tales. A true Victoria trade song: there must be magic in life! The electric bass and piano and drums are the prime instrumentation.
"Happy" shows mistaken assumptions we make about others. This woman hollers and neighbors think she is addled and screaming that she is happy. In actuality she is hollering for her dog Happy to come home.
"TC" is a poignant memory of a childhood friend who grew up to live by his own rules. A great Broadway story. Violins and harp.
"I'll Do His Will" --A side note: Victoria always includes at least one song referencing God. This is also the only song on the CD that she did not write. She sings it like a blues/gospel singer with black women as her back-up singers. It is a perfect combination of their deep bluesy voices and her warbly, slightly shrill one in concert.
"Big Fish"-- Animals live innocently by their traits. Only man tries to hurt another of his kind for fun, or change nature. Great clarinet, guitar.
"Animal Wild"--A great song that has an arabesque melody: electric cello with its haunting Arab tune, and her voice is at its best.
"Main Road"-- another Broadway-esque song with a story, violins and timpani.
"Opelousas"-- a city in southern Louisiana, the source name for "Sweet Relief"--a fun song about a fun place
"Statue of a Bum"-- demonstrates the most musicality: This is simply an amazing song focusing on flats, slightly off-key melodies, and an array of unusual instrumentation--cellos, clarinets, oboes, electric bass guitar, and her voice, which is magnificent in this song.
Overall, a musical trip unlike any ordinary, play-on-the airwaves music you will hear. Almost any of her CDs is equally as enjoyable, however, this CD is a must for your music collection!
Note: For the uninitiated, Victoria's voice is unique and takes getting used to. That sounds weird to say, but once you get used to it, you will be addicted.