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76 customer reviews

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The Meadowlands
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Audio CD, September 9, 2003
"Please retry"
$43.94 $7.27

1. The House That Guilt Built
2. Happy
3. She Sends Kisses
4. This Boy Is Exhausted
5. Hopeless
6. Faster Gun
7. Thirteen Grand
8. Boys, You Won't
9. Ex-Girl Collection
10. Per Second Second
11. Everyone Chooses Sides
12. 13 Months In 6 Minutes
13. This Is Not What You Had Planned

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 9, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Absolutely Kosher
  • ASIN: B0000CBLAY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,858 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 15, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I first have to express thanks to my brother for turning me on to this album. He has said that it has been a disc that he has had trouble getting off his CD player for a long time, and I can fully appreciate why. I think the last album to hit me like this one was probably OK COMPUTER, and for many of the same reasons. Both albums feature a host of truly beautiful melodies, great instrumental hooks, and lush, startling chord changes. Also, many of the songs on both albums are beautifully constructed. The album is also beautifully sung, though I have to confess that I am so entranced by the music that I have yet to pay much attention to the lyrics. They might be profound, or they might be trite; all I know is that they are embedded in the most gorgeous sounding songs I have encountered in ages.

There really are no weak cuts on this album and absolutely no filler. There is also a lot of variety. These guys can go soft; they can go hard; they can go fast; they can go slow. What they seem incapable of doing is being uninteresting or unmusical.

I don't know a lot about the band itself, but I understand that they have had a rough time with record companies (gee, we've never heard that story before, have we?) Rough or smooth times, they have produced one doozey of an album. Hopefully their next album will receive more support from the powers that be. More and more I wonder if record companies should play a significant role any longer in the making of music. With the capacity to spread music via the Internet, they are no longer needed to make the product, and they have always played a dubious role in promoting good bands (and have on the other hand fobbed some pretty dreadful acts on the public). Musicians make virtually all their music from performing live. Just some random thoughts, but my own thought is that a system that keeps a band this great from putting their songs out for a potentially adoring public needs fixing.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Naive Pegasus on May 29, 2005
Format: Audio CD
It took them long enough, but The Wrens were able to follow up their brilliant effort, Secaucus, with a CD that was even better. The Meadowlands is by far their most sprawling (and crisp) work yet (okay, granted, throughout their 11 year career, they've only put out 3 CDs, two of which are out of print, and one EP). The CD grabs at you and doesn't let go, mixing soft-yet-engaging tracks with heartwrenching lyrics to upbeat songs with thrashing guitar that you can't help but get swept up by, even when they reveal an underyling cynicism.

It seems almost counter-productive to list off which individual tracks are worth listening to- there isn't an off song in the entire album. "Happy" and "She Sends Kisses" breaks your heart and then brings you back up with its grand, almost ballad quality, while "Boys, You Won't" finds you slowly nodding your head as it builds and builds. "Ex Girl Collection" and "Everyone Choose Sides" are uptempo and catchy as hell, while maintaining the incredibly strong lyrics evident throughout.

For those of you who hear from reviews here that it's "Emo", and are worried about that- don't be. Granted, I find that Emo is often overused currently, the choice word to describe an album that deals with any topic that is less-than-cheery, and the lyrics may seem to meet that qualification for some (For example- "Are you happy now?/ Got what you want/ I wanted you/ but I'm over that now"), but it's just an album with these artists dealing with themselves honestly, and it results in deeply personal, yet brilliant, lyrics.

This is a must-own-CD.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Paul H. on July 31, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Most albums that take countless listens for them to grow on me are usually intentionally difficult records that are not supposed to be user-friendly, and were instead made perhaps with the intention of time and effort being required for enjoyment (see records by Sonic Youth, The Microphones, Black Dice, etc.). The Meadowlands, by comparison, is a rather accessible record, but one that did not do much for me on the first listen. The production was muddy. The music sounded synthetic and/or lethargic. The vocals were garbled. It wasn't a terrible listen, but after reading all of the glowing reviews, The Meadowlands came across to me as a decent college rock record instead of an indie-rock masterwork. But I'm never one to reject an album based on initial disappointment, and for a record like the Meadowlands which garnered near-unanimous glowing reviews, I figured that there had to be something great about it that I wasn't hearing. And sure enough, on subsequent listens, the power of The Wrens' music began to unleash itself. Anyone who dismisses this record outright probably hasn't read the lyrics. The Wrens' have created some of the most emotionally direct and blunt lyrics of any band in recent years. "Happy" is a brilliant, painful break-up tune while the cynical, music-world weary "The Boy Is Exhausted" and "Everyone Chooses Sides" are especially poingant when one considers the band's history. After years of label troubles, public indifference, and general bad luck, The Wrens distill all the stress, frustration, and pessimism that comes along with playing in great band that gets nothing in return. It's rather ironic then that a record without much of a trace of optimism or hope has given The Wrens' the best publicity of their career.Read more ›
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