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4.2 out of 5 stars
Oh Perilous World
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2007
Format: Audio CD
...and I mean that in a good way. This album and this band are proof that the best music and most talented artists ARE NOT ON YOUR RADIO.

Let me add that I am not your typical Rasputina fan. I'm a blue-collar male who is pushing 40 and listens to artists like Tool, Chris Cornell, and the Beastie Boys. I happened upon a review for "Cabin Fever" in Blender Magazine and was intrigued by the promise of "Gothic Chamber Rock" and I bought the CD without ever having heard a note of music from Rasputina. I was blown away by that album and quickly bought up all their previous CDs. I've bought every subsequent release via pre-order because I'm that excited to hear what Melora has cooked up next.

This album is absolutely brilliant. I was worried when I listened to it the first time through because I didn't like it and every other Rasputina album hooked me instantly. By the third time through, I liked it and by the 5th time I thought this could be the best Rasputina album yet. I love every song on this album with the possible exception of track 10, "We Stay Behind".

I don't know that this would be the best CD for a Rasputina newbie. For that I would recommend "Cabin Fever".

Do a lesser known artist a favor and tell a friend about Rasputina. Most will be glad you did.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on June 28, 2007
Format: Audio CD
As a Rasputina fan from the beginning, I think this is absolutely one of their best, musically tightest albums. The narrative fits together like a complicated puzzle, revealing subtleties with each listen. Rasputina continues to be one of the fiercest rock bands on the planet, but IMO, this album contains a deeper emotional resonance than prevous releases. The band has always tempered balls out rock with beautiful, emotional passages, and they've perfected that approach. Melora imbues every word and passage with knowledge, and a true understanding of every angle of the story she's telling. While Rasputina are definately challenging themselves and their fans, Oh Perilous World is also their most accessible album. I feel like any person who likes good music and songwriting, regardless of genre, would like, or at least respect this album. There's nobody in existance like Rasputina, and I think they've continually raised the bar for good music in general. I was actually thinking the other day about how I've never had a friend say anything bad to me about Rasputina. I've met people who didn't love them, but they're always blown away by their musicianship. So, if you love Rasputina, I think you'll love this album. If you're not familiar, but consider yourself a fan of good, unique music, Oh Perilous World is worth a listen.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
Gothic alt-rock played with cellos -- it sounds pretty horribly precious, doesn't it?

And it would be, if Rasputina weren't such great musicians, who could mingle tragic history stories with quirky chamberpop and classical instrumentation. And their latest album "Oh Perilous World" comfortably straddles the fence between rock and cabaret, and seems to be having fun while it does so.

It opens with a creepy, ominous cello melody, and Melora Creager's girlish voice telling us solemnly, "In the spring of 1315/There began an era of unpredictable weather/It did not lift until 1851/You remember 1816 as the year without a summer." It's a rambling, weird song about Freemasons, Ben Franklin, Frankenstein, volcanoes and other such subjects.

Things get even stranger with the quirky chamber-rocker that follows ("choose me to be your champion/I am possessing of a very righteous style!"), not to mention the string of melodies that follow: clashing cellopop, gothic balladry, a rapid-fire rocker, a tinkly pop song, rambling interludes, and the sweeping beauty of "Old Yellowcake" and the sly "A Retinue Of Moons/The Infidel Is Me."

Rasputina is one of those genrebusting bands -- they manage to keep themselves rooted in rock, pop, chamber music, and still sound like they live in a big old ruined Victorian house with some friendly ghosts and a lot of newspapers. They're a little bit of everything, and have kept their quirk.

Obviously the main instrument here is cello. Lots of cello. And Creager knows how to mold it to her purpose, whether it's a melodious sweep, an awkward twang, or urgent dark chords like an electric guitar. But to keep it from getting monotonous, there's some fuzzy guitar in "Draconian Crackdown" that takes over the song, as well as a gentle piano in the ballads, and a jingle of bells here and there.

Creager has a pretty, girlish voice, but she sings some pretty weird, sometimes gruesome songs about broken butterflies, blood-spattered lace curtains and the descendants of mutineers. Some are taken from actual history. And how can you ignore lyrics so quirky as to tell you that a reaper is inthe flowerbed? Or that "I have charisma and of course a winning smile/I stand accused of being an audacious redeemer/Not a charge I can deny."

Full of history and dark humor, "Oh Perilous World" is a pretty solid chamber-rock album that has its moments of excellence. Definitely worth hearing, if nothing else for its cello playing.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on June 30, 2007
Format: Audio CD
"Oh Perilous World" is another step in the direction hinted at w/ the highly underrated "Cabin Fever". This time out we have a kind of concept album w/ lyrical content influenced by current events more so than on previous releases. Even when the subject matter veers toward the more familiar Rasputina territory of centuries past, it draws interesting parallels between our civilization's past and present, often pointing out how little we seem to learn from our mistakes.
Musically, Melora Creager continues to move forward ensuring that no Rasputina record sounds like what she's done before.The dulcimer that first showed up on "Cabin Fever" plays a more prominent role along w/ some wonderful recorder playing by Ms. Creager and some piano provided by (official member since "Frustration Plantation") drummer Jonathan TeBeest. This is all anchored quite expertly by the cello playing of Melora and new 2nd cellist Sarah Bowman.
The melodies are, as always, gorgeous and the band balances the classical & heavy elements (along w/ some wonderful psychedelic moments) beautifully.
If you can, get the deluxe limited version. The bonus CD compliments the album even better than the one that accompanied the limited version of the last disc.
Lets hope that more people come to realize what a national treasure we in the U.S. have in Rasputina. Support the lovely, dangerous art of Rasputina while they are around. You don't run across music this great every day.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Oh Perilous World, Rasputina's fifth original CD release, brilliantly blends current world events with their classic historical style, all fused together with cellos, drums, and haunting vocals.

This album, like most of their previous efforts, is a concept album, following this storyline: Mary Todd Lincoln is Queen of Florida, and her blimp armies have attacked Pitcairn Island, where Fletcher Christian's son Thursday ("played" by drummer Jonathan TeBeest) emerges as a resistance icon.

Melora Creager (the brains behind Rasputina) "wrote the songs featured on Oh Perilous World over the last two years after deciding current world events were more bizarre than anything she could scrounge up from the distant past." And indeed, subjects range from the 9/11 attacks, Osama Bin Laden. Hurricane Katrina, Avian Flu, and the like. Because the subjects are blended in with the concept theme, I don't feel they are presented in an in-your-face way.

"The songs were recorded primarily with cello and drums, but despite this simple palette Rasputina create a wide range of textures and effects, including what seems to be electric guitars and violins -- but is actually cunningly played and recorded cello."

My favorite songs are "1816, The Year Without a Summer"; "Draconian Crackdown"; "We Stay Behind"; and "The Infidel is Me."

IF YOU ARE A DEVOUT FAN, I recommend you buy the CD from their website, as you may still be able to get a copy of the limited edition, which has a bonus disc featuring three additional songs and six of their infamous skits. The bonus disc tracks are as follows:

1. The Question Of Time
2. Identity Tokens
3. The Humanized Mice
4. The Pruning (Pat O'Brian / Access Hollywood Mix)
5. Flood Corps
6. Incapable Of Regret
7. Desert Vampire
8. The Contractors
9. Infidel (Instrumental Demo)

I think the skit "The Pruning (Pat O'Brian / Access Hollywood Mix)" alone is worth the extra money, as it's a hilarious recording of (someone who sounds a lot like) Pat O'Brian speaking the lyrics of the song over the music. It's truly funny!

All in all, these girls are my favourite band in the world, and Melora's addition of Sarah Bowman on second chair only reinforces that fact.

(All quotes are from Rasputina's website.)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Like all the reviewers here, I'm a long time fan. I have to say that I had to warm up to this album. I did not think it was very good at first but am now glad that I spent the time to get to know it better.
As with all Rasputina albums, I think most listeners will enjoy about three quarters of the album, love two or three tracks especially, and absolutely hate two or three of the tracks.
The curious thing about Rasputina is that sometimes one can go from hating one of the songs to loving it (I just did that with "Incident in a Medical Clinic.")
Melora continues here to expand her vocal repertoire. Melora shifts from saccharine crooner to carny caller to slide guitar blues singer to vaudeville singer. Some of the songs also switch personalties with such abandon that at times I was reminded of the work of Raymond Scott.
Yes definitely get the bonus CD.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I'm humbly petitioning all Amazon patrons to please see Rasputina live as soon as you humanly can. It was my privilege to attend their recital in Austin, TX on July 27, 2007, and it is an experience not to be missed.

In addition to eight tracks from this album, they performed songs from each of their previous releases to the complete delight of their fans in the audience. Their sound is tight and very loud. Marvel at their cello, vocal, and drumming virtuosity, but do not hesitate to seek them out in live performance.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Oh Perilous World, Rasputina's fifth original CD release, brilliantly blends current world events with their classic historical style, all fused together with cellos, drums, and haunting vocals.

This album, like most of their previous efforts, is a concept album, following this storyline: Mary Todd Lincoln is Queen of Florida, and her blimp armies have attacked Pitcairn Island, where Fletcher Christian's son Thursday ("played" by drummer Jonathan TeBeest) emerges as a resistance icon.

Melora Creager (the brains behind Rasputina) "wrote the songs featured on Oh Perilous World over the last two years after deciding current world events were more bizarre than anything she could scrounge up from the distant past." And indeed, subjects range from the 9/11 attacks, Osama Bin Laden. Hurricane Katrina, Avian Flu, and the like. Because the subjects are blended in with the concept theme, I don't feel they are presented in an in-your-face way.

"The songs were recorded primarily with cello and drums, but despite this simple palette Rasputina create a wide range of textures and effects, including what seems to be electric guitars and violins -- but is actually cunningly played and recorded cello."

My favorite songs are "1816, The Year Without a Summer"; "Draconian Crackdown"; "We Stay Behind"; and "The Infidel is Me."

IF YOU ARE A DEVOUT FAN, I recommend you buy the CD from their website, as you may still be able to get a copy of the limited edition, which has a bonus disc featuring three additional songs and six of their infamous skits. The bonus disc tracks are as follows:

1. The Question Of Time
2. Identity Tokens
3. The Humanized Mice
4. The Pruning (Pat O'Brian / Access Hollywood Mix)
5. Flood Corps
6. Incapable Of Regret
7. Desert Vampire
8. The Contractors
9. Infidel (Instrumental Demo)

I think the skit "The Pruning (Pat O'Brian / Access Hollywood Mix)" alone is worth the extra money, as it's a hilarious recording of (someone who sounds a lot like) Pat O'Brian speaking the lyrics of the song over the music. It's truly funny!

All in all, these girls are my favourite band in the world, and Melora's addition of Sarah Bowman on second chair only reinforces that fact.

(All quotes are from Rasputina's website.)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2007
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
The first disc of the two is great. I love the lyrics and the instruments are hypnotic. It has a goth feel, but it sounds like no other goth band that I have ever heard. I enjoyed the first disc so much that I bought three other Rasputina CDs. The second disc is interesting and consists of mostly talk of a political nature. It was good to hear once, but I can't see having it in the car or on an ipod as it isn't music driven.

I would recommend this CD to anyone who wants a unique music experience. I can't compare it to there other CD's yet, but it is very good on it's own.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
Rasputina always makes me smile. I think I may like this album the best, though. Good pop melodies that could've made it to the Beatles White Album or Abbey Road combined with eccentric and well-crafted lyrics. Be forewarned, you should read up on Mary Shelly and Frankenstein and the weather conditions at Villa Diodati, the Mutiny on the Bounty, and that obscure bit of American history when Mary Todd Lincoln sent her armored blimps to subdue the rebellion on Pitcairn Island.
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