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The premise of such a large voice bellowing out of such a delicate frame beckons comparisons to Edith Piaf. The difference is that Patty's voice is more versatile. She can sing honky-tonk with a swagger (Loves Throws a Line), blues like a hip-cat (Standing), and the meloncholy ballad like nobody's business. "Cold as It Gets" might be her darkest song on record, and when she sings about a "wind that blows as cold as it gets/blew out the light in my soul," she leaves no room for doubt that the candle's out. I heard Patty sing "Top of the World" on public television back in 2000. I wondered why this incredible song hadn't made its way onto an album, and was quite surprised to see it on a Dixie Chicks album. It's a fine cover, but I was pleased to see Patty reclaim this song here. Her performance is superior because of its heightened emotionally intensity.
This album is only slightly blemished by some questionable mixing. Her vocals and the instrumentals are not always properly balanced. The instrumental lead-in on some songs was scarcely perceptible, prompting me to turn up the dial only to risk detonating my speakers once she actually started to sing.
With this album, she has achieved a perfect 5-0 record. There are few artists whose albums can be purchased without the slightest trepidation. Patty is one of the few.
Love Throw A Line - This song is the perfect choice to start the album with. It gives me that feeling of being in the old south, either sitting in a little white church gettin down, having a grand old time with a gospel choir or in a little hole in the wall blues bar, that only you have somehow magically discovered. It's a fun song that makes you want to close your eyes and just imagine that you are actually there experiencing the beautiful rhythms and energy in this song.
Cold As It Gets - In this song Patty's voice blasts out at you with hauntingly beautiful lyrics. Again, it feels like you are being taken back in time somewhere. It's as if you can actually feel the words as she singing them.
Kite Song - This song is like a dream. You can actually feel and see yourself running through the fields in the hills flying a Kite with someone you hold very close to you. Makes you think of how simple and beautiful everything really is. The piano is so gorgeous in this song, you can't help but get misty-eyed with every listen.
Standing - In this song, Patty really shines. Her voice is just brilliant. You wonder to yourself how a small little red-haired white woman can possibly have so much soul. The song builds and builds and then goes back down to a slow bluesy hum and ends just as powerful as it starts.Read more ›
The thing I find most jarring about the album is the clip of Patty's parents singing "Impossible Dream" smack in the middle of the record. It breaks up the flow. And the flow of this album is so important and so beautiful. It's like a river carrying us along, allowing us to look into the windows of the houses we pass and peek into people's lives.
That's not to say the songs sound alike. Like any river there are twists and turns, and the current is faster in some places than in others. The sunny-sounding "Useless Desires" follows the melancholy church sound of "Standing." "Top of the World" is a standout with a darker sound. It's followed by "Rowing Song" which has the feel of a round to it and wonderful horns.
The highlight for me is "When It Don't Come Easy," which is heartbreakingly beautiful lyrically and sonically. I have to admit the last 3 songs kind of fade into each other for me.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Oh my gosh, what a voice! What a songwriter! Patty Griffin, through that magical voice and potent words, touches all those places in your heart that music is meant to. Read morePublished 13 days ago by SHAY RON
Such a fabulous song writer.....always lobe to hear Patty sing.....Published 9 months ago by Susanna Sheltraw
First heard her haunting voice on the TV program NCIS-it was a rerun and they were at a funeral. Where do you look for music you hear and have no clue who it is that is singing? Read morePublished 19 months ago by P. Falbo
I discovered Patty from a Chevy commercial where she sings O Heavenly Day. She is simply amazing, and this album is terrific.Published 23 months ago by kevin f hiemel
Impossible dream, impossible to have dreamt a prettiest musical dream, compassion, gratefulness, blues, gospel, folk, beauty, superb beauty.
Incredible poetic lyrics. Read more
I had this album several years ago, but it was lost in a move. I am so happy to have it back. It does not disappoint, & certainly it is one of her best. Read morePublished on February 12, 2013 by Lea
This was the first Patty Griffin album I purchased maybe five years ago. At the time I had only heard a couple of her songs on NPR. I was completely taken on the first listen. Read morePublished on July 8, 2011 by Bob Pearson