on November 8, 2002
I made myself a compilation CD of Alison Krauss songs ranging from her first album through New Favorite. Like all compilation CDs, you end up fast forwarding to your favorite songs.
I don't think it's a coincidence that, aside from The Lucky One, I kept fast forwarding to songs that are on the So Long, So Wrong album.
So Long has so many great songs that absolutely melt you. Try cranking the stereo while driving through the rain while listening to Looking in the Eyes of Love, the title song, Deeper than Crying, and Find My Way Back to my Heart.
Little Liza Jane and Looking in the Eyes of Love are amazing songs. My favorite song, though, has only been mentioned once among 33 reviews of this album, but it's one of the prettiest songs I've ever heard. The melody, the lyrics, and that voice! The price of the album is paid for based on the song Happiness all by itself.
What a great album. In my opinion, Alison and the Union Station have never been finer.
on May 16, 2002
This was a good CD but not a great one. There were many good bluegrass songs and some country radio oriented songs. This CD was the beginning of her full-fledged transition to a country artist as opposed to a bluegrass artist. While the material is strong it seems inconsistent in its angle. It seems like she wants to appeal to the country radio crowd while not alienating the bluegrass crowd - an impossibility in most cases. And I believe the waffling is a detriment to the CD.
But, that said, this is a good CD. The instrumental "Little Liza Jane" is extraordinary. Alison shares many of the vocal responsibilities with her band and sharing the spotlight with them makes the band, and the album, stronger.
Bottom line, if you like Alison you'll love this CD. If you like country or bluegrass you will find enough on it to make you happy and feel your purchase was worthwhile. You make the call.
on January 20, 2013
Allison Krauss and Union Station are at the top of their game with this set of songs. Allison is terrific, as usual, and the band has matured to the point where they perfectly compliment everything she does to make a sound capable of sending chills down the spine of anyone who appreciates her vocals and precise fiddle, banjo, steel guitar and acoustic guitar rhythms and finger pickin'. If you don't find yourself tapping your feet and getting occasional chills while listening to this collection of songs, you need to have your pulse checked. This is one of their best, hands down.
on August 26, 2011
I have several Alison Krauss/Union Station CD's and this one, unfortunately, is the worst of the bunch. It is not the songs or the artists but the recording mixing that is imperfect compared to the others. In the others Alison's beautiful voice stands above the sound level of the instruments propelling her forward at you. That is not the case on this recording. The instrumental recording level is such that it tends to hide her wonderful voice. I would highly recommend Alison Krauss/Union Station music but not this particular mix and recording for this technical reason. It is NOT representative of any of the other CD this group has made, that I have heard.
on January 9, 2011
Bottom-Line: All and all "So Long, So Wrong" is a 3.5 star effort for AKUS because of the aforementioned vocal track issue.
Despite the fact that Alison Krauss hasn't the vocal range of most in Country & Western/Blue Grass, she has managed to become the voice of the latter. Her voice is lithe, but with a charm and genuine cadence that is hard to resist; hence her success, mostly with her band Union Station.
In 1995 the band Alison Krauss & Union Station (AKUS) released their seventh album "So Long, So Wrong," which went on to garner critical acclaim, but not very much commercial success. As is the band's style they stayed away from the lavishly produced, pseudo-C&W Pop that so marks other groups their adopted genre and instead remain fairly close to their Bluegrass roots. But perhaps the CD was under-produced and engineered if there is such a malady.
Most of the album's vocal tracks were too quiet; i.e. it was hard to understand the lyrics throughout most of the CD especially when Ms. Krauss was taking lead. The especially true on the CD's title track, So Long, So Wrong (track No. 1), wherein Ms. Kruass's already lithe voice is at points inaudible. The same holds true for track No. 2 No Place To Hide, track No. 3 Deeper Than Crying, but to a lesser extent, track No. 4 I Can Let Go Now, track No. 5 The Road is a Lover, track No. 7 It Doesn't Matter, well you get the picture. The musicianship was flawless as usual, but the quiet vocal tracks detracted from my overall enjoyment of the CD.
That is not to say the entire album is a throwaway because of the vocal shortcomings, far from it. "So Long, So Wrong" maintains the bands tradition of fine musicianship and crisp clear harmonizing vocals (when they can be heard that is) and is overall a worthy AKUS release; just not my favorite.
When Krauss isn't spotlighted on center stage, her presence is still apparent in the guise of her high (soprano) harmonies and energetic fiddle. Her ability to blend into the group, fade into the body as it were, only buttresses the sense that AKUS are indeed a band rather than merely a supporting backdrop for Krauss's solo efforts. An equaling male vocal cord is struck by guitarist and long time band member Dan Tyminski, who brings more traditional bluegrass sound to the group. And Ron Block, who is not the strongest (solo) vocalists is an excellent song writer, and contributed two track to the album, track No. 11 Pain of a Troubled Mind (lead vocals) and track No. 14, the hauntingly beautiful There is a Reason.
"So Long, So Wrong" is an ambitious CD; there are fourteen vocal tracks and one instrumental, track No. 6 Little Liza Jane. When released the song were included on a two-album set, but only one CD. All of the members of AKUS play instruments, indeed they are all considered virtuosos. The circa 1997 group included Alison Krauss (vocals, fiddle, violin), Barry Bales (acoustic bass), Ron Block (banjo, guitar, vocals), Adam Steffey (mandolin), and Dan Tyminski (guitar, mandolin, vocals). Adam Steffey has since left the group to be replaced by Jerry Douglas on the dobro.
All and all "So Long, So Wrong" is a 3.5 star effort for AKUS because of the aforementioned vocal track issue. The instrumentation on the CD is top notch and more than part of the reason I love this group so much; they have such a passion for Bluegrass and make this quintessential form of American music swell the soul.
on May 29, 2005
How can one be critical of such perfection seemingly sent direct from his holly bosom. OK!, I know? That isn't exactly helpful to those new to the AKUS phenomenon. I'll try to be level headed about this. If you are reading this, you are looking for guidance, so for those who have resisted buying any AKUS until NOW... Shame on you! But OK, if that be the case, you're best bet for a high saturation of OUTSTANDING ballads is "New Favorite" which has some good B-grass also, or "Forget About It" But this is void of any B-grass whatsoever, (how'd that happen?). For the most balanced album with STRONG Ballads AND B-grass, "So Long So Wrong" is your good first choice. If you prefer the older works of AKUS (lots of B-grass) but can't decide which to buy, your best bet is "Now That I've Found You" without question. Unless you have a specific song title in mind, "Lonely Runs Both Ways" may not be your best first purchase. Stellar performances on ALL titles are to be found without question. Myself? I heard AKUS the first time in 1992. I was awe-struck, and remain so with each release from Alison or AKUS. When god shines, HE SHINES. One day I hope a CD of all of Alisons singles from movie sound-tracks etc... will be released. I own every Alison "album" released so far, other than the occasional wayward single. I can say the same for Dan & Rons works also. Jerry!... lol, Dude, nobody has enough money or time to buy everything YOU've put your personal touch too. However, I can nearly always detect your sound & style, sight unseen whenever I hear it, ". Alison & the group are beyond mere descriptive phrases. Certainly they are perfection, in humility, talent, taste, execution, communion and musicianship. Yet, these words are only glimpses of the greater power one can sense from every utterance AKUS make. Thank You Alison, Dan, Ron, Jerry, Barry et all... I appreciate your music sooooo very much.
on August 31, 2002
As of this writing, Alison Krauss continues to grow as both a roots-oriented performer (O, Brother and O, Sister) and mainstream roots-tinged singer (New Favorite). This CD was my introduction to her and Union Station, acquired somewhat by chance a few years ago when I discovered it at a music store listening station. I bought it because I loved the sound of it, and while I've listened to a lot of bluegrass since then (live and recorded), this remains both fresh and soulful, with a style that is distinctively different from the usual.
If you like really bright and upbeat bluegrass, the music on this CD tends to be darker and more mournful than Bill Monroe ever envisioned. The recording volume is even low; you have to crank up the system to hear it. The finest and most touching song on the album for me is "Looking in the Eyes of Love," sung so yearningly by Krauss that you'd swear she's pulled it up out of her own bitterest experiences. If my copy of this song was on vinyl, the grooves would have been worn out by now.
The theme of pain deeply felt and slow to recover from is reflected in many of the titles: "Deeper than Crying," "Pain of a Troubled Life," "Blue Trail of Sorrow." Monroe would do these songs fast and make them sound like a day at the beach, but here they are sung and played for all the pathos in them. Thankfully, resolution of sorts comes in the final cut, "There is a Reason (for it all)."
Is it a concept album? Hard to say. The band seems to have wanted to roll back the sunny, upbeat sound of traditional bluegrass and expose the sadness often underlying it. As an experiement, it's worth a listen because the group is so darn good, and the musicianship is so fine. Buy it, and feel the songs seep into your soul.
on February 12, 2012
I will take this one over any other AKUS album. This is when they were still somewhat unknown outside of Bluegrass.
Then Jerry came along they became much more slick. Don't get me wrong I love just about everything they do. This one has that raw touch to it. Little Liza Jane is outstanding. I miss Adam Steffey he is in Dan's band now. They were a working Touring band now there are side projects that take away from what they once had. I saw this version of the band on the Boardwalk in Ocean City NJ for I think 18 bucks. Now this April they are in AC NJ and the prices are over 100 bucks.
I love Jerry Douglas but things changed after that. Alison just played at the White House in November.
Anyway for me this is my choice for the best of what they did 5 stars for me thats for sure
on June 10, 2013
The mixture of songs featuring members of the band along with those which feature Alison make for a menu which should give everyone something to appreciate. The emotional content of many of the songs, especially those by Alison, is quite somber. Most deal with love lost. Vocals and instrumentals live up to expectation. May want to delay listening if your emotions are raw from a heart-break. But I cannot help myself. I always recommend Alison Krauss and Union Station!!!
on March 2, 1999
This beautiful album shows once again why people who say that they hate country (that top 40 stuff), love bluegrass. Incredible musicianship, fine material, and soul. Shania Twain and the Dixie Chicks should be doing Alison Krauss's laundry!