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Songs & Other Things

Tom VerlaineAudio CD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

Songs & Other Things + Around + Words from the Front
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  • Around $24.14
  • Words from the Front $27.97

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 25, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: 2006
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Thrill Jockey
  • ASIN: B000ELJ8WQ
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,625 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. A Parade In Littleton
2. Heavenly Charm
3. Orbit
4. Blue Light
5. From Her Fingers
6. Nice Actress
7. A Stroll
8. The Earth Is In The Sky
9. Lovebird Asylum Seeker
10. Documentary
11. Shingaling
12. All Weirded Out
13. The Day On You
14. Peace Piece

Editorial Reviews

Thrill Jockey's simultaneous release of around and songs and other things this spring will be the first new releases by Tom Verlaine since Warm and Cool in 1992. songs and other things is Tom Verlaine's first vocal release since The Wonder in 1990. The return of his cool vibrato weaving in and out of his guitar lines is exciting. For this new vocal release, Verlaine recorded with a variety of friends including Television bassist Fred Smith. He wrote all the songs, played all the guitars and even spent some time on bass. In the past year Tom has been touring with Patti Smith and playing select shows with Television. He is putting together a band that he will debut in his beloved hometown of New York City in late April/early May.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best solo album April 28, 2006
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This one starts a little slow, and there are a few missteps in the first couple songs, but once it gets going, it is astonishing. If this were an LP, I'd play side 2 to death.
It seems odd to issue this in tandem with "Around", but they are two sides of the same coin. The emphasis here is on guitar work. Verlaine has always been more of a cult guitarist, underrated by the mainstream, but his work here is a showcase. The songs seem written and structured expressly to show off his guitar work; it's hard to imagine the songs played by anyone else.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and mature music May 11, 2006
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I'm listening to this CD as I write and realizing that someone has to break this tie. So far this CD has received one very positive and one very negative review, and you may be wondering which one to believe. The positive review is, IMO, the one to go with. I've been a Tom Verlaine fan since the early 1980s and I think this is some of his best work. To be honest I was hoping for a repeat of the full-blown, sonically dense music on his Dreamtime and Flashlight cds, but I now see that he's given us something even better: new, different, and unusual music that will reward repeated listening.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As always, nuance wins out...... June 3, 2006
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Like many I discovered Tom Verlaine in the early 1980s, through the pages of New York Rocker, and became an almost instant fan. I was lucky enough to see him out on his first solo tour and was blown away with the band and the songs from Flashlight. Later, when Dreamtime came out I felt that Verlaine had created a great masterpiece, an album full of fascinating, interlocking guitar parts textured with energy and moments of searing emotion; I know I'll be chastised for this, but Dreamtime was greater than anything Television did.

But as much as I loved Dreamtime (and Words From the Front, The Wonder, Flashlight and Cover)I always wondered how it could ever sound as good live. With Songs Verlaine has produced a set that you can hear from the stage, he and Jimmy Ripp going at one another as I'm sure they are on tour right now. He's also, significantly, expanded his sonic textures: There's a lot of guitar work here that tonally is new and different from anything I've heard. But the attack and resonance is still pure Tom.

If I'm not mistaken TV's in his late fifties about now, and he is still a more interesting songwriter, guitarist, and most importantly, arranger than anyone else who came out of the CBGB scene with the exception of his buddy Patti Smith. On Songs, his arrangements are just terrific, and repeated listenings reward you with growing awareness of the nuance of the playing by all bandmembers and how TV uses this to shape the feel and reach of each song; not as dense as what you'll find in Dreamtime or Flash Light, the guitar work is still surprising me with every listen--great with headphones, great but different with the stereo cranked.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's Good to hear from the Television Man June 17, 2006
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
But I'd have to agree with one review here with the title "Hit and miss". Verlaine has the knack for writing some killer catchy guitar driven songs. It's too bad he goes off the deep end with about half the songs here. The problem is they're just too oblique.

"Dreamtime", his self titled solo release, and "Cover" are more consistent albums. Hopefully, rykodisc or someone will take those great records, remaster them, and release them again, since as far as I can tell, they've never been released other than on vinyl.

Maybe the title is ironically appropriate. About half of the songs are really great on this CD, and then there's the "other things".

It's still great to hear new music from the reclusive Verlaine, and I wouldn't miss his live show for anything if he decided to tour.

Hopefully, this is the beginning of a more active period. Please don't make us wait for 13 years between each time, Tom!
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4.0 out of 5 stars elusive November 16, 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This one is not about foreground -- the vocals are often buried in the mix to the point of indecipherability, and his lead guitar rarely peals out and becomes the center of attention. Instead it's multiplied into a cloud of twittering parts, snaking, chiming, playing simple figures and occasionally some rather crunchy rhythm parts.

It's about atmosphere and text. Sometimes surprisingly dark and creepy, sometimes amorous. But in the end, elusive. Verlaine's lyrics have always been elusive lyrically. On this one, it becomes a quality of the arrangements as well.

There's a lot here to be discovered and enjoyed, sonically, conceptually. It just wasn't what I thought I was looking for when I first started to listen.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Earnest yet playful August 3, 2006
Format:Audio CD
The first time I listened to this I thought it was more of the somewhat disappointing eponymous third Television album which I found a little too subdued. With the chops that Mr. Verlaine has, you can't help hoping he'll let out the rock'n'roll hounds every so often. However, the more I listened to it the more it got under my skin, with its lyricism, combination of earnestness and playfulness, and subtle yet killer guitar licks. It's still on heavy rotation on my i-pod shuffle and I keep enjoying it more and more with every listen. In other words, buy it, give it a chance, and see the glory.
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