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Queen of the Meadow [Import]

Elysian FieldsAudio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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MP3 Music, 11 Songs, 2010 $8.99  
Audio CD, 2000 $10.94  
Audio CD, Import, 2010 --  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 1, 2010)
  • Original Release Date: 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Indie Europe/Zoom
  • ASIN: B003DW6QWI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #661,704 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Night cracked like a skull..." February 6, 2004
Format:Audio CD
This is the coolest band! Love the lyrics. Like dark, sexy jazz, almost. Jennifer Charles has the sexiest voice EVER. Yes, there are a few songs I tend to skip, but the rest make up for it. "Black Acres" and "Barely Recognize You" are the best, along with "Cities Will Fall", an apocalyptic love song. Gorgeous! The lyrics are dark, even graphic; images of convulsing moons, collapsing cities, and consuming burial grounds will leave "a trail like Dillinger" in your head. I can't wait to hear Bleed Your Cedar.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this CD! March 13, 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I haven't fallen in love with a band like this since I discovered Mogwai! The moment I heard Queen of the Meadow I went out and bought it -- and then I bought La Mer Enfortunata, which isn't an EF album but was made by the band's two main contributors, Jennifer Charles and Oren Bloedow -- and then I went out and tracked down Bleed Your Cedar. Wow! I rarely even write reviews, I'm just writing this because I love it so much. Really!
This music is very svelte -- kind of jazz meets alternative meets symbolist poetry meets pre-Raphaelite painting. Baudelaire would have loved this. Jennifer Charles has the sexiest, smoothest, velvetiest voice I ever heard. The music is intelligent, eclectic, at times bordering on genius. There's nothing like it.
Some people seem to prefer Bleed Your Cedar, but I think Queen of the Meadow is the better album. Cedar still shows derivative traces of pop and rock, IMHO. Queen is more understated musically, but I think it's a more complete or evolved statement of the band's aesthetic. There are one or two clunkers on the album -- like Fright Night -- but those are easy to forget alongside Black Acres (definitely the best track on the album), Dream Within a Dream (the Poe poem set to luscious jazz lounge music), and Cities Will Fall.
The best way I can describe my feelings about this album is like this: most music I listen to while doing other things -- working, eating, driving, etc. This album I love so much that I don't profane it by giving it half my attention. I only listen to it at night, alone, when I can give my whole attention to it. It's that good -- that pleasureful -- that great.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best yet from this awesome young band November 14, 2000
By paw
Format:Audio CD
elysian fields rocks! etherial grooves with intelligent lyrics...the band takes the best from the NYC avant-garde rock and jazz scenes to create an original, sensuous sound. This album is clearly their best yet!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Elysian Fields: they are their name. November 3, 2005
Format:Audio CD
Syrup is delicious, but only in small doses--though beautiful and mystical, Queen of the Meadow may be hard to listen out repeatedly. Nonetheless, I love how Jennifer Charles's voice can move from a scratchy murmer to a clear, livened soprano within a single note. Most of the songs flow like a sea of thick chocolate, while others take on an ubeat, jazzy feel comparable to 70's slowrock. At times it even carries a folkish feel, as in "Rope of the Weeds."

By far, the strength of Elysian Fields is in the vocals. Jennifer's voice is hypnotic and carries the feeling that the name "Elysian Fields" suggests: a dreamy isolation of slumber and hedonism. One downfall of the album is that the simplistic guitar strums and even more simplistic percussion at times isn't enough. Many songs could use additional layers.

Peaks of the album are "Black Acres," where the original lyrics float with a haunting cello and organ accompaniment; the swingy "Bend Your Mind," which received much radio play in Europe but probably never the US; and "Dream Within a Dream," which holds a Wizard of Oz-like dream versus reality magic. Oren Bloedow takes the vocals in "Queen of the Meadow," which is a nice male diversion but perhaps comes too late.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful ethereal jazzy... November 26, 2000
Format:Audio CD
This is a wonderful album, far more melodic than their first. One song even uses major chords, which is a first for this generally slow, lilting, sensual band. While I'll always be in love with the first, this one is moving in there quickly. Great lyrical rhythms and such....
There is one terribly sore spot on the album, though: Fright Night. The lyrics would seem as if they were written by someone's 8 year old niece. Aside from this, which I suggest skipping before you even hear it, so as not to lower your opinion of this wonderful band, the whole thing is very powerful and emotive. (Every band has at least ONE unbearable song, no matter how excellent they are. Have some fun... make a list.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerizing Minimalism July 20, 2007
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Rather than repeat the praises of the other reviews, I wish to focus on one point the others have ignored...."Rope of Weeds". This one song is worth the price of the CD.
To begin, it has a very slow blues background(almost inaudible)...just guitar and bass at the start, weaving a sence of a slowly rocking boat. Jennifer's vocals seductivly begin telling a tale that is as salty as any good sea-fairing ghost story ever written. We soon find that the salt is a tripple entandra, representing the saltiness of a sailor, as well as the salt the boat is hauling and finally the salty tears of sadness which envelops the whole story(from the very situation inwhich she finds herself, to the depravity of her actions, not to mention the tears of joy she ultimatly achieves by having her love with her forever).
Once the storyteller's situation has been told, and her grusome find reveled, the music begins to intensify and a drum is added into the background. The drum is used sparingly, just enough to puctuate the the naritive, and give a sence of the storytellers ever accelerating heartbeat, due to her uncontrolable desire to commit indelicate actions upon her erie find.
By this time the instrumentation has insinuated itself to a point that one knows without a doubt that this is indeed a blues tune. From here on, the song has the perfect ballance of vocal and instrumentation, while remaining true to it's minimalistic intentions. The third act is a resolution for the storyteller, and what a resolution she decides upon!
Here we have an unsettling premis, an unsavory course of action and a satisfying resolve all told with instrumentation that grows in intencity that perfectly punctuates each emotional discovery of the lyric.
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