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Soft Commands


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Audio CD, July 13, 2004
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. You Drew 3:06$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Any Love (Cassandra Et Lune) 4:38$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Known Diamond 5:29$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  4. When U Find Someone 3:52$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Don't Die 3:07$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Let Me Do 3:45$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  7. For Your Sake 3:58$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Je Vous En Prie 3:34$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  9. You Become The Dawn 3:25$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen10. Dawn Of The Dub Of The Dawn Feat. Gaffa Man 2:12$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen11. Cyclone Graves 3:58$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen12. Death Of A City 4:21$0.89  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 13, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Yep Roc Records
  • ASIN: B0002DFY4C
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #397,475 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By W. Rabeneck on August 12, 2004
Format: Audio CD
At first, I was a little put off by this album because it is so different from his previous work. But since I have really enjoyed his work with the Posies, and his first two solo albums, I continued listening to "Soft Commands", and found that, though it's not an instantly compelling album, it gets better with repeated listens.

Possibly, the main flaw of the album is that, other than "Don't Die Young", most of the songs fall into the ballad category of songs. And though they are good songs, I found myself getting a little bored by the lack of extreme tempo changes. This album would have been easier to listen to, all the way through, in one setting, if there had been a couple more fast and mid-tempo songs thrown into the mix.

That said, around my seventh or eighth time listening to the album, I found that I like these songs a lot better if I listen to them two or three songs at a time, rather than trying to listen to the whole album straight through. Ken has really written some good, stately songs for this album. "Known Diamond" and "When U Find Someone" are particularly standouts.

"Known Diamond" might be Ken Stringfellow's best song to date. It is a very stately, soulful ballad. It really deserves to be a hit, and a 'standard' that other artists would cover in the future. I could really hear Elton John or Joe Cocker having success covering this song, even after making changes to make it fit their individual styles.

"When U Find Someone" reminds me of a Beach Boy's style ballad musically, while the story of the songs lyrics reminds me a little of Don Henley's "All She Wants To Do Is Dance" because the basic gist of the story is that "The country may be at war, but ain't it good to be in love with this girl?
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By the real me on December 6, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I notice a lot of complaints that this record is different from Ken's other work. I won't deny that's true - it is quite a departure - but I don't agree with those who have written it off based on that. Ken Stringfellow is my idol and although I was slightly put off by the absence of his usual guitar pop, a little attentiveness reveals the same personality in these songs that graces everything he's written. The magnificent melodies, vivid poetry, and overwhelming emotion are all there, though communicated differently. "When U Find Someone", "For Your Sake", "Cyclone Graves", and "Death of a City" all have a grand, anthemic quality that makes them instant classics, in my opinion. "Cyclone Graves" has incredible and inspiring lyrics, and is a favorable contender for my personal top five songs of all time. I also love the European-sounding ballad "Je Vous En Prie". About half the songs are less emotional than Ken's usual stuff, and don't excite quite the same love - but they have a great deal of personality and are loveable enough in their own way. I think if you like Ken Stringfellow for the quality of his songwriting, and prepare yourself going in for something different, there's no reason you wouldn't love Soft Commands.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Davis on August 8, 2004
Format: Audio CD
OK, it's not the stunning power pop of the Posies, but fans of good songwriting can't go wrong with this one. Quieter, more piano, less guitar. But Ken's voice is stronger than ever here, and melodies and images from these songs will linger. The first tune to grab me was "When U Find Someone," sonically a perfect knockoff of Beach Boys harmonies, but dark, initially confusing lyrics about George W driving Saddam to lover's lane, to slip him a cruise missile I presume. The military-sexual metaphor would make Elvis Costello proud, not to mention the earnestly-delivered refrain, "together we can burn the world." "Any Love," "Known Diamond" and "Death of a City" are also standouts.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By James M. Cayon on June 3, 2005
Format: Audio CD
The Posies are, without a doubt, one of the truly great American bands, but on this, his third album, Ken Stringfellow, very much a kindred spirit, moves into the rarified realm of this world's most special composers. As anyone that has heard the Posies' cover of "O-O-H Child" by the Five Stairsteps can testify, this white boy's music was informed by a great deal of classic soul - not only is the band's version virtually indistinguishable from the original, but I wouldn't haven't have dared hope for a first-verse quote from "Tighter, Tighter", by Tommy James and one of my Top 10 favorite songs, as a tag-on. So, while "The Lover's Hymn" on Touched, his second effort, came as nothing less than a revelation, it really shouldn't have surprised me so much, though the expansive metaphysical lyrics were still remarkable by any standard. Soft Commands is nothing so much as a fascinating recreation of an era when AM radios gushed sounds full of joy and wonder out into the cosmos, such an accurate reflection of our soundtrack growing up in the early Seventies, with a slightly more sophisticated delivery and choice of subject matter. These were my formative years above all others, and Deep South gospel-tinged numbers like "Let Me Do" and "You Become The Dawn" would've fit in effortlessly next to both "O-O-H Child" and "Tighter, Tighter". Despite Altamont, the Sixties hadn't succumbed entirely to cynicism yet (Watergate and the ignominious exit from Vietnam would deal seeming death blows to 'the dream') and plenty of hits still chimed with the California-based arrangements and surf harmonies characteristic of "When U Find Someone".Read more ›
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