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Pale Sun Crescent Moon CD

4.4 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Audio CD, CD, November 23, 1993
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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The Cowboy Junkies' Michael Timmins is a most literary songwriter. On the Toronto quartet's Pale Sun Crescent Moon, Timmins imbeds lines from William Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom into the song "First Recollection" and a line from Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "The General in His Labyrinth" in the song "Seven Years" without it seeming the least bit awkward. He has found the perfect literary voice for his writing in his sister Margo Timmins, whose alto is all smoke and suggestion. Songs are not poems, however, and never was that distinction more obvious than it is here. The album's so-called songs float in atmospheric harmonies, unshaped by melody or meter. This droning music may seem haunting on first encounter, but by the third song the melodic monotony encourages dozing. --Geoffrey Himes
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 23, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: RCA
  • ASIN: B000002WPK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #390,304 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Who doesn't like The Trinity Session? The Cowboy Junkies are defined by that 1987 masterpiece and plenty of radio stations still play their version of Lou Reed's "Sweet Jane" daily. But where next after you've put TTS up on your CD rack? Pale Sun Crescent Moon is that stop. This is a truly fine album made even more credible in that the best songs are entirely their own. Guitarist Michael Timmins' profoundly literate songwriting is made once again to sparkle throughout this album by sister Margo's trademark haunting, ethereal vocals. The mix is rounded out by brother Peter's hypnotic drumming and Alan Anton's undulating bass. Add in timely harmonica, mandolin, piano, and organ to create an ambiance that could enchant to shipwreck even the most stoic landlubber. You would do better with this album to not just let it play half-minded in the background. The band tells a fascinating musical story with each song that will seem muddled if you are not paying attention to the teller. You could miss the quote from William Faulkner or even "Is it better to have words left unsaid than to have words misunderstood?" Standouts include "Crescent Moon", "Ring On the Sill", "Anniversary Song", and "Floorboard Blues".
Don't misunderstand the Junkies. They are subtle and unobtrusive like gold dust beneath the roaring river of commercial music. Pale Sun Crescent Moon is brilliant, and possibly their best album ever but, you could miss it all if you don't buy it! Once you catch on to their siren call, you will, happily, never be the same.
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By Daniel S. on October 28, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Unlike the four precedent CD's of the Cowboy Junkies, PALE SUN CRESCENT MOON demands some effort from the listener in order to be fully appreciated. One cannot listen to it while reading for instance. The guitars of Michaël Timmins and Ken Myhr sound way louder than in BLACK-EYED MAN and often hide the subtle melodies written by Michaël.
As always, the lyrics are of the highest quality and deserve the full attention of the fan. Some of us are going to regret the hypnotical quality of the sound of THE TRINITY SESSION that became the trademark of the Cowboy Junkies but Margo's sad and melancholic voice is still here and you cannot deny to the band the right to explore new musical territories.
ON THE SILL and ANNIVERSARY SONG are, in my opinion, pure masterpieces but I didn't like so much songs like SEVEN YEARS or THE POST, the music destroying the purity of Margo's voice. Ten songs out of twelve have been written by Michaël Timmins and the electrical flavour of the CD owes a lot to the guitarist Ken Myhr. Other musical guests include Jeff Bird with his mandolin and Richard Bell at the piano.
A CD deserving to be rediscovered.
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By A Customer on May 13, 1998
Format: Audio CD
This album is easily as good as "The Trinity Session," however, don't expect the same kind of sound! This one isn't quite as country-ish, but it's got a soulful sound that gets under your skin. "Hunted," a song about women in threatening situations, has a low, slow sound that is almost haunting. Yet it's counteracted by such songs as "The Anniversary Song" which is distinctly more upbeat (well, as upbeat as the Cowboy Junkies get). Margo Timmins's voice shines in this weighty songs and the blues undertones are still here. Perfect rainy day music.
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By K. Ward on December 17, 2008
Format: Audio CD
This album reminds me why I bought a nice stereo. Margo's vocals are perfection. The band, her brothers, paint a dreamy background for her to work her magic. A Bayou sunset painted in pastels by these Canadiens, music just doesn't get much better. Highly Recommended.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
after 16 years this is still one of my favorite albums of all time. Margo's voice gets in your heart and you can feel her emotions as she sings. if you buy any albums by the cowboy junkies this should be the one.
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Format: Audio CD
"Pale Sun Crescent Moon" is not a new CD... being eight years old it has had some time to season. I find it rather haunting and yet very accessible. For some reason I just don't find CJ music to be as dark and sad as I hear from a lot of people. Certainly this CD has some... "Pale Sun" is a poignant, cutting look at the way the Native Americans were treated... a subject that has been worked over pretty good but given a sharp look in this song. "Crescent Moon" is my favorite track... along with "Ring on the Sill"... I suppose this music evokes love and loss more than anything else. "Hunted" is a very interesting song, and while Margo Timmin's voice is somewhat obscured, it does seem appropriate for the subject matter.
This CD reminds me in many ways of 10,000 Maniacs' "Our Time In Eden"... I tend to listen to them both when I am wanting to hear this sort of music.
The music sort of hangs in my mind for a while after I hear it. "Anniversary Song" is beautiful but doesn't really grip me like the others I just mentioned...
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I didn't buy this cd when it was originally released & now I regret the times I have wasted listening to other music. The recording is up to the Junkies high standards. Margot's voice is as ethereal as ever. The band remains an outfit to be reckoned w/ on multiple levels.
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Format: Audio CD
When she asks me what it is I am playing, I know the stuff is good. When she asks me to leave the music for her to play, I know the stuff is excellent. On this one she followed me and grabbed it. Five stars. You'll only need to play it once and you'll see.
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