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Infamous Angel

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Audio CD, May 4, 1993
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$5.49 $0.94
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Artists like Iris DeMent aren't supposed to exist anymore in this cynical world. Singing unironically about family, forgiveness, and other real-life mysteries, DeMent is accompanied on this great debut by little more than acoustic guitar, upright bass, piano, and an occasional fiddle. But the songs (especially the bittersweet "Our Town" and the grand dreams of "Mama's Opry") are more than smart and honest enough to bear standing so naked. And her singing--highlighting a sweet Ozark twang--is that rarest of gifts: a wise, friendly voice that can break your heart even as it's making it swell with a reason to love again. --David Cantwell

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Let The Mystery Be 2:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. These Hills 3:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Hotter Than Mojave In My Heart 2:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. When Love Was Young 3:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Our Town 5:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Fifty Miles Of Elbow Room 3:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Infamous Angel 3:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Sweet Forgiveness 2:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. After You're Gone 4:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Mama's Opry 3:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Higher Ground 3:34$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 4, 1993)
  • Original Release Date: May 4, 1993
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Off Roster
  • ASIN: B000002MJ5
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,623 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 74 people found the following review helpful By "kasper3" on February 17, 2000
Format: Audio CD
We pass our days with things to do and places to go - this is our lot in life. This is life. But now and then you make a 'wrong" turn on a street and pass a shop from which you barely hear something that seems familiar and are drawn towards its source. You walk into the middle of "Let The Mystery Be" as Iris' CD is playing from speakers on the wall. It is not a record shop, but a poutpourri little store. "Who is that singing," you ask the lady with the beautiful long silver hair behind the counter. "Thats Iris Dement," she says. I say, "I never heard of her,". The lady says, "Then today is your lucky day". She points to a chair by the counter and says, "Have a seat and listen to this; you are about to take a journey." I do as she says while she turns to the cd player and forwards to "Our Town".
The song finishes and the lady with the long beautiful silver hair looks at my expression and says, "You don't have to say a word - you have just become DeMented," she says with a smile as she writes down Iris' name and the title of the CD "Infamous Angel" on a notepad and hands me the slip of paper. She says, "I think most music stores carry her cds." You don't sell cds at all," I ask in disappointment. "Sorry, but no, I don't. If I stocked this one, though, I'd probably be out of stock most of the time, anyway." I buy some candles out of politeness, thank her for allowing me to listen to the music and race to a place and within less than an hour I own "Infamous Angel".
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92 of 97 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 11, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I saw Iris Dement open for Nanci Griffith about 7 or 8 years ago. While I normally can't even recall an opening performer's name, I actually remember the 4 songs Iris played, 3 of which are on Infamous Angel. I ran out and bought the CD as soon as I could, and am still listening today. If anyone can find a more dead-on analysis of the question of religious beliefs than "Let the Mystery Be", I'd love to see it. And, speaking of religious experiences, I have one everytime I hear Iris harmonize with Emmy Lou Harris on "Momma's Opry". "Our Town" is a beautiful, touching song similar in theme to Bruce Springsteen's "My Hometown", where the singer recalls better days of her hometown while she prepares to leave. Finally, Iris' mother's lead vocals on the closing "Higher Ground" is a near perfect example of those folks who sing their beliefs loud and proud, with voices so pure and simple that they dwarf those more classically trained.
I am hardpressed to think of a CD I enjoy more than this.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Barron Laycock HALL OF FAME on August 28, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I have to admit up-front to being a devoted Iris DeMent fan. I first saw her at the now defunct Folkways Coffee House in Peterborough, New Hampshire in the early 1990s, and she performed most of the songs in this album. From the opening number of "Let The Mystery Be", with Iris advising us that she's happy not to wonder or worry about what God"s plan for her is, one almost immediately recognizes the wondrous gift He has given us with Iris DeMent. This album is an evocative, ethereal, and memorable excursion into the existential dilemmas of contemporary life, and is a treasure for anyone who loves the unique of country and folk music that Iris DeMent bridges so artfully. All of her music here is original and special, and over the last decade she has matured from her beginnings to become a most singular and precious folk treasure. Here she mixes her deep natural religiosity with an awesome practicality in her verses, as in the opening cut "Let The Mystery Be" to "These Hills", in which she waxes sentimentally about her love for the hill country she calls home. From "Sweet Forgiveness", a touching ballad, to the title cut of "Infamous Angel", Iris manages to wring honest, beautiful and special qualities from each of her compositions. Indeed, this whole song cycle is terrific, and I only hope she continues to produce such special and original music for all of us who love her music and her sweet gentle vision of a life well lived and well loved. Enjoy
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By **** on September 13, 2004
Format: Audio CD
When I first got this CD about a decade ago I treated it as a bit of a guilty pleasure. A short time later, Iris Dement performed in a church in Berkeley, and I came up ticketless when the show sold out within 24 hours. Then I understood the universal appeal of Iris Dement. She has a simply unique voice, absolutely without artifice, that's somewhat reminiscent of the high lonesome sound of Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Hank Williams, or Kitty Wells. She's a wonderful songwriter whose songs speak of the human condition: love, death, redemption, foregiveness, family. "Let the Mystery Be" has sweet lyrics and an infectious melody, but the subject is no less serious than the meaning of life itself. "Our Town", a nostalgic glimpse of the past, acknowledges that "nothing good ever lasts". "After You're Gone", which she wrote when her father was very ill, can move anyone to tears who has lost a loved one. The title track, "Infamous Angel", deals with home; where you're always welcome to return, even if you have strayed. I've listened to this CD hundreds of times in the past 10 years and still love it. No longer a guilty pleasure, I recommend Iris Dement to everyone.
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