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Love Has Come for You

4.6 out of 5 stars 398 customer reviews

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Vinyl, April 16, 2013
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Editorial Reviews

Steve Martin is currently in the fifth decade of a varied and accomplished career as a comedian, actor, author and playwright, and as a Grammy®-winning, boundary-pushing bluegrass banjoist and songwriter. His fellow Texas native Edie Brickell initially burst onto the national scene in the late 80s fronting the New Bohemians, and has since carved out an iconoclastic solo career that's solidified her reputation as compelling singer and a songwriter of rare insight. Although these new musical partners have already built widely-respected individual bodies of work, their inaugural duo effort is a substantial departure, as a well as a creative milestone, for both artists. Love Has Come for You offers 13 eloquently rootsy Martin/Brickell compositions that combine the former's inventive, expressive five-string banjo work with the latter's heart-tugging vocals and vivid, detail-rich lyrics. Produced by legendary musician and producer, Peter Asher, and featuring the guest stylings of Esperanza Spalding, Waddy Wachtel, Nickel Creek alumni Sara Watkins and Sean Watkins, as well as the Steep Canyon Rangers, Love Has Come For You is playful, spacious, and irresistibly accessible.
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Digital Booklet: Love Has Come For You
Digital Booklet: Love Has Come For You
Album Only

Product Details

  • Vinyl (April 16, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rounder
  • ASIN: B00AU15GIA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (398 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,432 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I instantly liked this album so much that I ripped the tracks off the internet a week ago so I could listen in my car until the album arrived (by 8pm tonight if Fed Ex's tracking info is correct). I've had a soft spot for Edie Brickell since the album, Ghost of a Dog, and Love Has Come For You has many of the strengths that Ghost of a Dog did - accessible, warm lyrics; playful but accomplished execution, and a voice where you can actually hear her smiling at times. But Love Has Come For You greatly expands on those qualities, and I can only assume that this is what Steve Martin brings to the table. I want to say that Steve Martin and Edie Brickell sound better together than they would apart, but I'm not sure "better" is the right word; they sound like something more than the sum of their parts. I think that is probably the hallmark of a great collaboration.

Some of the tracks have a strong Edie Brickell feel to them - like Siamese Cat and King Of Boys. Others I would have doubted it was Edie Brickell at all - such as the crisp,spot-on delivery she gives to the title track. This is the first I've heard of Steve Martin's music, so I can't comment on how this collaboration reflects on his style. I can say I WILL be listening to more Steve Martin from now on.

If you're a bluegrass purist, you may want to take a test listen before buying. This album is deftly, almost lavishly produced. I think I even hear some of the voices from Nickel Creek on backing vocals in some of the songs. Also, if you are a believer in "the high-and-lonesome voice that bluegrass requires," as the robert earl keen song describes, you're not going to find it here. In fact, I'm not sure I would even call this album bluegrass at all. I'm leaning more towards well-written, expertly delivered Americana.

Long story short: buy this album. You won't regret it. They really did a great job on it.
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Format: Audio CD
I tried to come up with a pithy little title to summarize this album, and the title above was the best I could do. The alternate was "North Carolina bluegrass hipsters on the back porch". Either way, I hope the idea comes across -- this is a fine album that takes a big helping of traditional sounds and presents them with a modern sensibility and a big dose of melancholy.

This album reminds me a lot of North Carolina, and not only because of the geographical references to Asheville and the nearby Iron Mountain. Modern banjo styles from clawhammer to the Scruggs style can be traced back to NC; the album features NC-based Steep Canyon Rangers, which gained attention as the backup group for Steve Martin on his banjo tours of recent years but are now one of the hottest bluegrass acts in the country, winning a Grammy in 2013 for Best Bluegrass Album; and Edie Brickell puts on her best drawl for many of the songs, extending one-syllable words into two with the best of them. The result is an excellent mix of tradition and modern songwriting and instrumental sensibility that sounds like the back porch should.

Not all the songs are melancholy, but most of them are -- even those with upbeat tempos may have lyrics about sad or serious stuff. Like a woman chiding a man in unrequited love ("Who You Gonna Take"), babies being thrown off trains and raised as foundlings ("Sarah Jane And The Iron Mountain Baby"), loved ones who have gone away ("Shawnee").

The songwriting collaborations between Steve Martin and Edie Brickell are really very good. Martin has always written good instrumental music, and Brickell's lyrics are sophisticated. Martin's banjo styles are varied on the album, so it's not really easy to pigeonhole.
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Format: Audio CD
Every now and then, artists create an album that is so extraordinary, I wonder what the other 95% are doing out there. LOVE HAS COME FOR YOU is just that: an alternative bluegrass recording that'll wow a cross section of listeners regardless of their take on bluegrass. Many of the songs laugh at pain to keep from crying. A few, such as "Sun's Gonna Shine," exhibit the vulnerability and search for optimism we keep well-hidden. There is an air of wistful grace that permeates this recording, and I never tire of it.

The production is understated and tasteful, and places Martin's 5-string banjo and Brickell's natural voice front and center, without production obstacles. (Her timbre has matured beautifully.) The back-up musicians -- especially Ian Walker on double bass -- are relaxed and expert, and the occasional string quartet fits like a glove, thanks to Geoff Zanelli's seamless arrangements. Sara Watkins and Esperanza Spaulding drop in too, adding melancholy back-up harmonies which never intrude.

The opener, "When You Get Asheville," catches you by the throat, and has the most naked arrangement and lyrics of all,

"If it don't work out,
You can turn around
And come on back to me...
You can come on home to me."

These consistently listenable songs speak of love and loss, the search for home, the things in life that drive us crazy, the inner strength we never knew we had. Ironically, this brief but brilliant album -- in a genre we associate with times past, speaks to us with perfect pitch -- right now. Well into 2013, it's one of the two or three recordings that ring true, bear repeated listening, and remind us how and why great music keeps us going.

So "get along, stray dog" and pick this up. It's a winner.
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Vinyl?
It is available for download.
Apr 16, 2013 by David J. Gardner |  See all 2 posts
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