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Oh My God Charlie Darwin

23 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 9, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

The group's Nonesuch debut, Oh My God, Charlie Darwin, offers an elegant sort of Americana. Its songs about long-ago travels and romantic travails, eternal longing and inevitable leaving are often hushed, dreamy and mysterious. Simple folk-song structures are uplifted by hymn-like, chamber music arrangements. The three young multi-instrumentalists Ben Knox Miller,
Jeff Prystowsky and Jocie Adams recorded the album in the most remote place they could find near their Providence, Rhode
Island, home: 'In the ghostly stillness of a Block Island winter,' as they put it. The intimacy of the makeshift studio they created
in their chilly off-season environs is palpable; Paste declared, 'The Low Anthem's harmonica-and-string-flavored ballads are as haunting as they are gorgeous. This group of Providence up-and-comers knows how to break your heart and make you smile at the same time.' Not everything is understated, though: on 'The Horizon Is A Beltway,' they raise an exuberant acoustic clatter
that recalls Bruce Springsteen's work with his Seeger Sessions Band. They also cover Tom Waits' 'Home I'll Never Be,' a raucous adaptation of a Jack Kerouac poem.


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.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. Charlie Darwin 4:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. To Ohio 3:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Ticket Taker 3:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. The Horizon Is A Beltway 2:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Home I'll Never Be 2:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Cage The Songbird 4:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. [Don't] Tremble 4:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Music Box 1:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Champion Angel 5:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. To The Ghosts Who Write History Books 3:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Omgcd 1:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
12. To Ohio [Reprise] 3:42$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 9, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B0026IZR34
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,333 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Leif Sheppard VINE VOICE on June 17, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I first bought "Oh My God, Charlie Darwin" directly from the band's website last year. The disc arrived in an artfully hand-stamped, hand-numbered cardboard sleeve. Within that lay a black labeled disc that contained some of the most sublime music of 2008. This wasn't my first introduction to the band, as What The Crow Brings was among my favorite records of 2007. Opening with the darkly hopeful "The Ballad of the Broken Bones" instantly suggested to me that The Low Anthem had a bit of insight into the human soul. Listening to the following tracks "Yellowed by the Sun" and "As the Flame Burns Down" only served to confirm my initial thoughts.

So when I heard of the imminent release of "Oh My God, Charlie Darwin" in August of 2008, I immediately made plans to purchase the record. I admit, I didn't think the band would be able to follow up their previous work, much less surpass it. It's a testament to the artists involved that they not only produced a worthy third album, but created their most layered work to date. First track "Charlie Darwin", which Paste Magazine readers may recall appeared on one of their monthly discs, is absolutely fantastic. Genius. Brilliant. I give up! I can't think of enough superlatives for even the one track.

Speaking of Paste Magazine, their July '09 issue rated this album a 90 out of 100 along with review that favorably highlights the lyric "The lords of war just profit from decay". Curiously, Rolling Stone quoted that same lyric and claimed the album "suffered" because of it. They ultimately gave three out of five stars along with a review that totals all of three sentences.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Hoover Pendleton on July 13, 2009
Format: Audio CD
This album is both haunting and foot stomping at different times - a pretty phenomenal accomplishment. (And I can't believe RS actually published the review they did - not because their critic gave it a mediocre review, but because his three sentence (3 sentence!) review was obviously tossed off without nary a listen. It's like the author just wanted to collect his fee without actually giving the band or the album its due.) I highly recommend this album, but also hope that you will be able to listen without prejudice.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jameson Akers on June 15, 2009
Format: Audio CD
From the brilliant falsetto on the dream-like "Charlie Darwin" to the dustbowl imagery of "Ohio" to the raucous "The Horizon is a Beltway", Providence's The Low Anthem have created a phenomenal album from front to back, using their instruments to paint a different picture on each and every song.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Donald E. Gilliland on October 12, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This turned out to be one of my favorite albums in 2009. A very solid set of great tunes. I've heard people throw in comparisons to Tom Waits, Springsteen, CSN, and various "Americana" and alt-country bands, but Low Anthem manages to create a sound of their own by combining many styles. The result is a fabulously cohesive album with stellar songs such as "Ohio". Can't wait to hear more from this fine band.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Paul Allaer TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 17, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Rhode Island-based trio The Low Anthem issued quite a nice debut album "What the Crow Brings" in 2007. Afterwards, the band retreated, recorded and self-released "Oh My God, Charlie Darwin" in 2008. After slowly gaining buzz within the indie-music community, the band was signed to Nonesuch Records, and the album was re-released earlier this year.

"Oh My God, Charlie Darwin" (12 tracks; 42 min.) brings the band's take on Americana. The opener "Charlie Darwin" is a showcase for the band's gorgeous vocal harmonies (think Fleet Foxes). It is followed by "To Ohio", a beautiful ballad about a lover leaving Lousiana tring to get to Ohio to see his girl, an outstanding track (and reminding me in theme and sound of Sun Kil Moon's track "Carry Me Ohio"). On tracks 4 and 5, "The Horizon Is a Beltway" and "Home I'll Never Be", the band explodes with energy, as if we're in a bar 100 years ago. After that, things slow down again for more mood pieces like "Cage the Songbird" (again with gorgeous vocals) and "(Don't) Tremble". "Music Box is a short instrumental of, yes, a music box (mostly). The final 2 tracks "OMGCD" and "To Ohio (Reprise)" sum up the album perfectly.

In all, this is a fantastic album from start to finish. Not a single weak track, in my opinion. I had the good fortune of catching the Low Anthem in concert at Bonnaroo earlier this year, and they put on a great set, playing mostly songs from this album, check them out live if you can. Finally, it you wonder where you can hear these guys, check out WOXY (BAM! The Future of Rock and Roll), the internet-only station that brings the best indie-music in the country, bar none.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bill Westbrook on September 22, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Haunting music, really atmospheric. Great traveling music when you're headed west across the the flatland. Full moon, stars, and the wolf howling (if you live in Minnesota). Wonderful compositions. Simple, yet the arrangements intrigue.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sam Andersen on July 9, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I Like Tom Waits, The Felice Brothers,and Wilco. So Americana. so good. Now Ive added Low Anthem to that list. The Darwin album was so good I bought thier 07 releace What The Crow Brings and I enjoy that too.
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By listen_er on November 4, 2011
Format: Audio CD
This is my first foray into The Low Anthem realm. I grabbed this Low Anthem album CD at the suggestion of Alan Cross on his podcast, and am overall pleased with his suggestion, which is often not the case.

Due to the fact that I am not a long time fan, I do not have any preconceived ideas about this band, and thus my judgment of this band is entirely based upon the merits of this album. Overall I believe this band, and this album warrants your attention.

I think it is interesting that even before researching anything about this group, I listened to this album and found it to be somewhat of a two-headed beast of an album. A musical yin and yang of sorts, and what I imagined what was two main artists sharing the creative control of this album, and my quick glance into Wikipedia confirmed as much. There is a very dramatic and different dynamic to the music on this album. For a perfect example of this stylistic contrast, listen to the difference between `Home I'll Never Be' and `Cage the Song Bird'.

This album would likely best cater to an americana-esque following that has sounds that loosely resemble the Weepies, Band of Horses and Amos Lee, with a rustic southern flair that ranges into the Wood Brothers genre. One of the things that kept me interested is the wide array of sounds presented by this group, which at time includes the americana staple of the banjo and mandolin, but occasionally delve into organs and horns.

In listening to an album, I was trying to imagine what the musical demographic for a The Low Anthem fan would be, and was struggling with that question until I read that they had toured with The Avett Brothers. Bingo. If you don't agree with that, listen to `The Horizon is a Beltway'.
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