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3.6 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 16, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

The third full-length from A Fine Frenzy, PINES will be released on Virgin Records. This imaginative fable about a pining tree who is given the unheard-of
chance (for a conifer) to make a life of her own choosing was crafted
by Sudol in response to our accelerating pace of life in the 21st century.
Drawing inspiration from the redwood forests and dramatic landscapes
of Northern California and Washington s Cascade Mountains, the thirteen
new original songs survey a sonic landscape as vast and deep as the woods,
their namesake.
A sensory experience of music, storytelling and emotion, the adventure of
PINES is further realized in a companion e-book and short fi lm. The animated
fi lm PINES integrates hand-cut sets, puppets, stop motion, physical effects,
and layered glass to augment the depth and texture of the fi lm. The e-book
is a collaboration with illustrator Jen Lobo, whose aesthetic Sudol chose for
her blend of scientifi c precision and whimsical beauty.
Since A Fine Frenzy s 2007 debut One Cell In The Sea, which spawned the
hit Almost Lover, Sudol has proven herself a consummate, imaginative
storyteller. Produced by Keefus Green (Everlast, Cassandra Wilson, Joe
Henry, Benji Hughes), and recorded at the legendary Capitol Studios, PINES rekindles Sudol s childlike sense of wonder after her 2009 electro-pop outing Bomb
In A Birdcage.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 16, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Virgin
  • ASIN: B008R3EYD6
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,678 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Alison has always proven to be an amazing storyteller and she showcases her skills even more so on Pines. Many of the songs are slow but they are hauntingly beautiful. The songs have layers of depth but are simplistic in style; you can tell that every note, every sound, every instrument in the music was put there intentionally to help tell the story that Alison wanted told.

The emotions throughout the album ebb and flow with each song. There are periods where the songs are slow, and even a bit sad, and then a faster track kicks in. I feel that the album needs to be viewed as a whole, and not necessarily picked apart song by song. It represents a person finding themself, (which is resolved at the end, made clear by songs like "It's Alive" and "Now Is The Start") but not before long periods of sadness and frustration. It may be a bit shocking to hear a faster track amidst a sea of sadder songs but it is true to life; our emotions change minute by minute, day by day, and I feel that the album does an excellent job of making that point and taking you on the rollercoaster of emotions a person feels while trying to figure out who they are.

This is her most personal album yet and the emotion and conviction with which she sings the songs makes that evident. This album is a true beauty.
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Format: Audio CD
Upon first listen, I must admit that I was somewhat disappointed. I read the early reviews (one in particular) that mentioned a lack of identity and theme. There were enough good songs in her offering for me to give the CD more of a chance. What I noticed was that the artist seemed to be blending the success that she experienced in both her first and second CDs. While some of the songs were upbeat and reminded me of her second CD (Bomb in A Birdcage), when pitted alongside the slower ballads, they seemed just a tad out of place. When rearranging the order of the "Pine" tracks, I discovered what I quietly and hopefully suspected--that is: this CD surpasses her other two in both depth and maturity. If you are curious, listen to the tracks in the following order: #3,#1,#9,#7,#5,#13,#10,#12,#4,#8,#11,#2,& #6.

To truly appreciate this CD, one must pay close attention to both the lyrics and the message that she is trying to convey. This is a very spiritual record that focuses on the importance of self-acceptance and moving forward in life. From what I can tell, Allison is more than a capable teacher; she is a master and we are her apprentices! While she alludes to events within her own life journey, this is the type of record that the listener can truly take to heart and relate their own life experiences to. This, I think, is what makes "Pines" so compelling. This CD is focused on conveying an honest and uplifting message meant for all who will take the time to listen.

Some of "Pines" many musical highlights are as follows:

Track #1--Pinesong is about waking up from a broken dream and "pining" toward the next moment. She begins, "The time has come for giving up/I have lost/I wanted to become what I cannot".
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was so excited for this album.
I bought One Cell In The Sea back when it came out in 2007, and I liked it a lot. Her sweet voice and piano captured me into buying her second album, Bomb In A Birdcage, in 2009. I absolutely fell in love with this album. It took her music to the next level, a little more upbeat, and her song-writing abilities shined like never before. Alison has inspired my own music greatly and my lyrics. I cover her songs a lot when I play live.
I saw on twitter she was making a new album called Pines. I saw the "album trailer" on YouTube and got even more excited.
Finally, after months of waiting, Pines was released and I went out to buy it.
I popped it in my computer, put on my skullcandy headphones, closed my eyes and gave it a listen. I'm writing this review as I listen to the album for the second time.

1. The opening song, Pinesong, I was very impressed with. It begins with a haunting cello, then brings in an acoustic guitar duet. Alison's voice is as beautiful as ever. More beautiful than the previous albums, which is why this review has three stars. It gets a little more exciting with drums and bass. But I emphasize the word "little."
2. I thought the next track would be more exciting. But no. Winds of Wander opens with quiet birds chirping, then a relatively boring guitar melody. Alison's voice really shines, but it's wasted on a melody that is very boring. In comes some piano, and cello. Honestly, this track really has nothing special about it. It's boring. Just boring.
3. Next comes Avalanches (Culla's Song). Alison's lyrics shine. "You bring light and second chances" really pops out to me. This song is much more what you would have heard on One Cell.
4. Riversong begins with a slow and full-sounding piano.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Listening to A Fine Frenzy's newest album, PINES, I was somewhat bewildered. I frequently checked the MP3 player to ensure that I was indeed listening to Alison Sudol. While I absolutely love this album, I'm not sure how most of her fans will receive it.

ONE CELL IN THE SEA was a pretty straight-forward pop record. Sudol's voice and piano were frequently dominating the mix, but at the core of it, the album was a solid work from a great songwriter. Her second full-length album, BOMB IN A BIRDCAGE, was a bit different. It didn't feel exactly like a pop record -- Sudol's willingness to try new things made the album different from its predecessor and (at least for me) a great success. Alison Sudol's third album really comes from left field. Because BOMB IN A BIRDCAGE dabbled in atmostpherics and electronics, I was expecting something similar, but PINES a stripped down, minimalist affair.

From the very first track, it's obvious that this album is going to be different than anything A Fine Frenzy has ever done before. The introductory track, "Pinesong" is slow to begin, and it leads with a wonderful acoustic guitar riff. The only thing recognizable here is Alison Sudol's wonderful voice -- these songs do have hints of her songwriting, but for the most part, it feels dramatically different. I honestly don't know if I have seen such a leap in songwriting: PINES is mature, confident, and vulnerable. "Riversong" feels like a reverent prayer to nature, and "Dream in the Dark" barely contains more than just Sudol's vocals. This song sets the pace for most of the songs to come, and mostly, the spare, lonely atmospheres that are created here having a huge beating heart at the core of them.
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Topic From this Discussion
When's the real release date?
its available now but amazon hasn't updated it.... its good to go on itunes currently
Oct 9, 2012 by A. Reabe |  See all 2 posts
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