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Songs About Leaving

4.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 6, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

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The third release by Seattle cult-faves Carissa's Wierd (do not adjust your spell-check) is as emotionally uplifting as a drizzling, endlessly gray day in the Pacific Northwest. But then that seems largely the metaphorical point: whose spirit hasn't felt this dampened? This is sensitive, sophisticated acoustic pop as an ever-troubled Brian Wilson might have imagined it in some alternate, sun-deprived universe--sad and depressed, yet spiritually resonant and beautifully realized. There's a crucial fine line between morose and moody, and the band pirouettes with grace along its boundaries here. The delicate vocal harmonies and counterpoint of "You Should Be Hated Here" and hypnotic, minimalist-inspired interplay of strings and keyboard on "The Piano Song" belie the album's seven-day, largely in-studio gestation, while shuffling dirges like "Silently Leaving the Room" and "Farewell to All These Rotten Teeth" tap into a seeming stream-of-subconsciousness vein that's seductively mesmerizing, while the nervous "Sofisticated Fuck Princess Please Leave Me Alone" suggests there's still something seething beneath the album's languid mood and dreamy, musical torpor. Produced with understated grace by Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla. --Jerry McCulley
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 6, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sad Robot Records
  • ASIN: B00006EXD4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #216,499 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ken Neld on September 17, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Ever since I stumbled upon Carissa's Wierd a couple of years ago, with their debut "Ugly But Honest", I've simply been baffled by the fact that they aren't huge, at least in the indie-rock sense. They make music that really doesn't sound like much else. It's very emotional and intense and dramatic and over-the-top and it makes those emotions like lonliness and heartache and sadness sound as big as they feel right before you fall asleep at night. I don't see why anyone wouldn't think this is just the most beautiful music.
Anyways, I must say that this new album doesn't quite measure up to last year's unbelieveable "You Should Be At Home Here" (supposedly being re-issued by Sub-Pop at some point), which is far more cohesive and consistent. "Songs About Leaving" is more disjointed and hit-or-miss, but when it hits, as it does on songs like "September..." and "The Piano Song", it's their best work yet. Also lacking on this is the occasional super-tight, upbeat pop songs that appeared on their last two albums: this one is pretty much sad and slow to the bone. Still, I highly recommend it, and since it's their first (relatively) easy to find album, it's the perfect place to start.
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Format: Audio CD
Just amazing. The cd hits knocks you down from the opening and keeps you down with songs like "so you wanna be a superhero" & "the piano song". The lyrics strech from long and brooding like "my life is full of whats not here / i'll fly away and save myself / i'll make you proud someday / to bad i wont be around to see your face" to short and sweet as in The Piano Song "you found relief somewhere between the tree & its shade / when you go away / heaven's a distance / not a place". The songs are written by someone in a horrible situation, for someone in a horrible situation whether it be loneliness, a breakup, or the like. I highly recommend this cd to anyone with an open mind and a love of well written lyrics.
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Format: Audio CD
I've had this album for years on CD, and I figured it was time for a completely honest review. Carissa's Wierd, which has minor involvement with Ben Bridwell (the whole reason I got into them anyways), is one of the muckiest bands around. The main reason I say that: this is probably one of the better albums I've heard that is completely and utterly ruined by the horrendous production values. I LOVE lo-fi. This is not lo-fi. I love high production (sometimes). This is NOT high production. This is not even an in-between. It is a gross cacophony muffled through a toilet paper tube. The producer is the "renowned" Chris Walla, a man who I give respect to out of his membership in Death Cab For Cutie. Seriously, whatever he was on when recording this for them, he should not ever try again. The vocals are indescribably hard to hear underneath the mish mash of the sticky guitars and displaced drums. It's even worse on their previous album, "You Should Be At Home Here." It's laughable that this mess is on vinyl!

That said, Carissa's Wierd is a very emotional band focusing on the pessimistic, saddening parts of life. Occasionally, the singers have worse grammar than their intentional misspelling of "Wierd" (as Jenn Ghetto sings "How much more times/Will I have to tell you?" on "Sophisticated Frack Princess" or "It's all been wrote down by someone" on "Superhero"). Makes me wonder if these kids finished high school. Ignoring this, it's hard not to like the mood this album creates. The title is pretty adept at explaining what you're getting: songs that are about leaving.
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Format: Audio CD
You have to take the time to get this CD. You have no idea what you are missing. This band is an undiscovered wonder. I have no idea why they are not the biggest thing in music right now. If you want music that can relax to but also inspire you this is it. It will re-invent your perspective on music altogether.
I can't even begin to explain what kind of music it is. It is unlike anything that is out there right now. It has somewhat of the traditional raw indie sound but it is so much more. It is just a matter of time before this group shows the world how amazing they are. Please do yourself a favor and buy this CD. I guarantee it to be the best purchase you will ever make.
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Format: Audio CD
With music that sounds like it was intricately recorded in an abandoned buliding, and vocals that rarely go above a whipser, how can one go wrong? You can't. When it comes to this particular brand of indie rock, 'songs about leaving' triumphs like no other. Think of a less-upbeat christie front drive combined with the American analog set with some healthy Low and Slowdive influences mixed in. But this record is still so much more.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've always enjoyed rock/pop bands which effectively utilize more classical-type instruments such as violins. Carissa's Wierd is by far my favorite. Being a fan of "Band of Horses", when I found out some of the members came from "Carissa's Wierd" I decided to look them up. The band name sounded too interesting to ignore. This was their first CD I purchased (and the only one which is easily available anymore... the others have been OOP for awhile).

The lead vocals and harmonies, especially by Jenn Ghetto, are absolutely breath-taking. The instrumentation is a wonderful blend of violins, acoustic guitars, drums, and bass - "chamber rock" as some have called it. While the sound is rather atmospheric and lo-fi, the music is the type you might relax to but will not fall asleep to. The harmonies and lyrics will catch your attention. "Saying sad things that don't make sense can just make you look like a liar." After hearing this CD the first time I immediately wanted to hear it again; I've gotten that same reaction from others I've shared it with. I tracked down all the recordings of theirs I could and I still find myself wishing they had recorded more.
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