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Pneumonia + Strangers Almanac by Whiskeytown (1997) + Faithless Street
Price for all three: $24.97

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 22, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: 1998
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Lost Highway
  • ASIN: B00005B8GT
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,595 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Ballad of Carol Lynn
2. Don't Wanna Know Why
3. Jacksonville Skyline
4. Reason To Lie
5. Don't Be Sad
6. Sit and Listen to the Rain
7. Under Your Breath
8. Mirror Mirror
9. Paper Moon
10. What The Devil Wanted
11. Crazy About You
12. My Hometown
13. Easy Hearts
14. Bar Lights

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In their brief, volatile tenure as a working band--which spawned just two proper albums, Faithless Street (1995) and Strangers Almanac (1997)--Whiskeytown never quite fulfilled their considerable promise. But prior to their ultimate split, the band made a record that was buried for nearly three years by industry snafus. Pneumonia was well worth the wait. The band's final lineup (singer and songwriter Ryan Adams, violinist Caitlin Cary, and guitarist Mike Daly) is augmented by special guests such as Tommy Stinson of the Replacements and James Iha of Smashing Pumpkins. Sure, Adams doesn't quite grasp what he's reaching for on the Latin-tinged "Paper Moon," and "Sit & Listen to the Rain" is about as exciting as its title suggests. But "Jacksonville Skyline," a hometown ode that's sweetly nostalgic but hardly naive, easily ranks among Adams's best ballads. And don't bother trying to elude the hooks of the bouncy kiss-off "Don't Wanna Know Why" or the polished piano pop of "Mirror, Mirror." While it's unfortunate that the reliably unreliable Whiskeytown didn't live to see the release of their most consistent disc, Pneumonia is a harbinger of still better things to come from both Adams and Cary. --Anders Smith-Lindall

Customer Reviews

Five star album, one star vinyl pressing.
This is the kind of album you listen to the whole way through and immediately hit repeat.
M. DeLuca
The rest of the tunes on this disc range from very good to great.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Anne R. Eason on May 25, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Fans of the Raleigh-based alterna-country band Whiskeytown can now breathe a collective sigh of relief. Not only has the dismantled band's music from its last trip to the recording studio finally seen the light of day, but the resulting album, Pneumonia, is well worth the delay.
Pneumonia, recorded three years ago in a variety of settings, was held up because of legal wrangling between the band's old label and those of the individual members when they entered into new recording agreements. Whiskeytown ringleader Ryan Adams had said in a number of interviews that the album would never be released if he had anything to do with it. Fortunately, time heals all wounds and Adams' bitterness about the band's breakup has softened due to the passage of time and his recent success as a solo artist. In the end it was Adams' new label, Lost Highway Records (Lucinda Williams' pet project), which won the right to release Pneumonia.
While Pneumonia may not achieve the classic status of the band's high-water-mark album Strangers Almanac (1996), it comes dern close. The sound of the album is less in the neo-country vein than previous efforts and much more cohesive than the band's live shows of the same era. The songs bounce from the horn-laden "The Ballad of Carol Lynn" to the orchestral soother "Under Your Breath," a song that would be equally at home on Adams' solo album, Heartbreaker. The songs are all great but any Whiskeytown fan expecting the bang and twang of Faithless Street might be a little disappointed. "Mirror, Mirror" is an exercise in pop tune-age that is as catchy as anything Adams has ever written. Backing vocals and horns swirl around the melody while electric guitars deliver power chords your grandmother could love.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gregory R. Sollars on August 28, 2001
Format: Audio CD
It's a real shame that this record has been sitting on the shelf for three years, because it's really terrific. I have the 2nd Whiskeytown album(Stranger's Almanac), which is good, but this record is leaps and bounds beyond it. It's stunning really, how effortless and assured the songs and performances are on the record, not to mention how much Ryan Adams' songwriting has matured. Pop, rock, folk and country all blend into a seamless whole and give the record a wonderful, loose, "lived-in" sound that reminds me of a little of classic Neil Young(After the Gold Rush,etc.). I would say that "Crazy About You" is my favorite track - a simple, lovesick pop song with a big hook. Not far behind is the closer, "Bar Lights", which has a nice swagger to it, plus I love it when Adams' sings the line "...the empty pool hall, you and I...". The album also features a handful of beautiful, nostalgic ballads that would make Springsteen proud. A wonderful album; right now, it's neck and neck between this and the Sparklehorse for record of the year, I think. Highly recommended, even if Adams was reportedly crazy enough to dump Winona Ryder.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Paul Allaer TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 26, 2003
Format: Audio CD
The last Whiskeytown album was released in May, 2001, more than two years after the album was actually completed (and just months before Ryan Adams was to release his SECOND solo album, "Gold"). It sat on the shelf for that long after Whiskeytown's label Outpost imploded and before it found a new home at Lost Highway.
"Pneumonia" (14 tracks, plus "hidden" track, 57 min.), really sounds quite different from Whiskeytown's previous releases, and in spirit is closer to Ryan's first solo album "Heartbreaker" than, say, Whiskeytown's previous album "Stranger's Almanac". Excellent producer Ethan Johns (who also produced "Hearthbreaker" and "Gold") likely is one of the main reasons for that. Ryan has a hand in all tracks, writing 6 tracks by himself, and co-writing the rest with either Caitlin Cary and/or Mike Daly. Standout tracks include "The Ballad of Carol Lyn", "Jacksonville Skyline", the almost Beatles-esque "Mirror Mirror", the eerie "What The Devil Wanted", and "Easy Hearts", the very best on this album, with Caitlin's violins (for once) prominent and Ryan lamenting "I've Had a Pretty Hard Life/But Such an Easy Heart".
Whiskeytown split in 1999. The following year Ryan issued "Heartbreaker", and the rest, as they say, is history. Caitlin has come on strong as well, with decent solo albums in 2002 and 2003. "Pneumonia" is a very nice album to finish that chapter, but I so wonder if we'll ever see a live album released from Whiskeytown's illustrous live sets...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jorma B. Mueller on May 8, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Whiskeytown's posthumous release is well produced, melodic, and beautiful. I arrived at Whiskeytown (and the other "alt country" bands) in reverse: I listened to Ryan Adams first and then got into everything else. This album is filled with solid, catchy tunes (more "pop" and production than W'town's earlier albums) and retains enough twang to appeal to audiences on both sides of the fence. Each tune seems more Ryan Adams-ish (akin to the best of his tunes on Gold, Heartbreaker, and Demolition) than W'town's other material.
The difference here is that (thank goodness) Adams had to share control with the rest of his band, so there are a few less stinkers than the typical Adams solo album.
The best tunes here feel comfortably lamentable ("Jacksonville Skyline," "Don't be Sad") like a good country (even pop country) song ought to feel. "Bar Lights" is in my opinion the gem of the album and makes me want to head out drinking and carousing. All in all, the album is a that Adams might want to look back to to temper his overly prolific solo efforts.
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