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The Palace At 4am (Part I)

3.9 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 23, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

Burch has done time in a number of bands, occasionally crossing paths with Bennett along the way. Freed of outside constrictions, the pair holed themselves up to make THE PALACE AT 4 AM, playing an unsettlingly wide array of instruments and co-writing all the songs together. If history is just, it will put THE PALACE ... Full Description and the contemporaneous Wilco album in the same relative context as the first Wilco and Son Volt recordings after the breakup of Uncle Tupelo. Bennett and Burch's effort does indeed sound like the Wilco record that might have been. There's less of Jeff Tweedy's willful eccentricity and shambling Big Star fixation and more focus on writing and musicianship, but the mix of alt-country, power-pop, and psychedelia influences should make fans of BEING THERE feel right at home. Personnel: Jay Bennett (guitar, tiple, banjo, electric sitar, piano, Clavinet, organ, pump organ, Wurlitzer organ, Mellotron, omnichord, synthesizer, xylophone, drums, percussion); Edward Burch (vocals, guitar, tiple, piano, pump organ, synthesizer, percussion); Max Johnston (banjo); Melissa Bach (cello); Nate Walcott (trumpet, flugelhorn); James Singleton (upright bass); Brad Elvis, John Richardson , Ken Coomer, Alex Moore, Brendan Gamble (drums). Audio Mixers: Edward Burch; Jon Pines; Jay Bennett; Ken Sluiter; Mike Hagler.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Puzzle Heart
  2. Talk To Me
  3. Whispers Or Screams
  4. Shakin' Sugar
  5. C.T.M.
  6. Drinking On Your Dime
  7. My Darlin'
  8. No Church Tonight
  9. Fireworks
  10. Forgiven
  11. Like A Photograph
  12. Venus Stopped The Train
  13. California
  14. Little White Cottage
  15. It Hurts


Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 23, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Undertow Music
  • ASIN: B000063Y3E
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #324,180 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I could not submit a review without giving it a rating, so I randomly went with 4 stars.

Jay Bennett did not simply "have a hand" in writing "My Darlin'.'' Rather he WROTE the song. Our version (the one which appears on P4AM) is the original, and Summerteeth's is the cover, in spite of their flip-flopped order of release.

As for "Shakin' Sugar" and "Venus," we have always been very clear right from the start that these songs were Tweedy/Bennett collaborations ("check your fileshares" suggests cloak-and-dagger antics). If "Sugar" sounds like Wilco's "Alone," it shouldn't be surprising because the basic tracks are the same. WHY are they the same? Because Jay Bennett played EVERY instrument on the Wilco version. We simply added some more stuff to it and put it on our record.

As to whether people like our record better or Wilco's records better, I do not really care. I make records because I enjoy it. I just wanted to clarify a mis-informed opinion.

Thanks,
Edward Burch
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Format: Audio CD
With all the praise and adoration being heaped upon Jay Bennett's former band Wilco's new release "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" it seems ironic that Jay's new recorded collaboration with Edward Burch is an overlooked gem. It's obvious that in Bennett's recent departure from Wilco that he took a lot with him. I received this disc at the same time as Wilco's YHF and I find myself reaching for this one over YHF. While not as original sounding or experimental as YHF, "The Palace at 4am (Part 1)" evokes 60s and 70s pop sounds. The songwriting here is stellar. At times a little too Elvis Costello sounding but this is no knock against the album. The production and layering are almost over-the-top but beautifully done with all kinds of instruments and sounds popping up out of the blue. I highly recommend this CD and look forward to Bennett and Burch's next release.
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Format: Audio CD
If your reading this or checking out the new Jay Bennett/Edward Burch record it's probably because of your interest in Wilco. Well this debut record from the guy who was very responsible for their innovative yet eclectic sound will not let you down. From the melodic Birdsesque first track "Puzzle Heart" you know you are in for something great. This record is very reminiscent of Wilco's 1999 Summerteeth release utilizing a lot of the cool sounds and effects that clearly were Bennetts doing. With a very substantial 15 tracks, this record will take you down many roads, yet not loosing it's roots or direction. Though all the buzz now is focused on Bennetts former bandmates release YHF, this record stands up to the test, and is a must have for any who miss the great pop sounds of the 60's and 70's.
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By A Customer on April 26, 2002
Format: Audio CD
The Palace at 4AM (Part 1) has the same classic pop sound that Wilco's Summerteeth showcased. The layers of sound can become too much on some songs by burying the vocals. (eg. Puzzle Heart and Shakin' Sugar). But for the most part the album shines. Whispers or Screams hook instantly grabs you and the dark sounds of No Church Tonite pulls you into the album. Although Bennett and Burch probably should have left a few tunes off this album - the other 11 or 12 keepers make it a great listen.
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Format: Audio CD
Teaming with another multi-talented instrumentalist and vocalist Edward Burch, former Wilco member Jay Bennett has created an album every bit as good as anything Wilco has done. If Bennett's mission upon leaving Wilco was to search for `the hook', it appears he's found it, as it makes an appearance in virtually every song. Although Bennett and Burch are not averse to tossing in sonic twists akin to those of their brethren Wilco, their songs are generally more `poppy', less edgy, more hummable and a very pleasant surprise.
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Format: Audio CD
As a big fan of americana type music, and knowing what kind of influence Bennett had on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot CD by Wilco before his departure from the band, I decided to buy this one after hearing one song. The result, a incredible journey of upbeat to slow genuine pop masterpieces. But I was surprised of what kind of music I was hearing. I thought it would be more like older Wilco, since that is why Jay supposedly left the band to return to vintage Wilco. But this album has little americana soundings to it. It is more like crafty modern Elvis Costello pop with some americana edges.
There are no duds on the album, every song carrying incredible melodies and words..My favorites, though I am discovering new favs every day, include Puzzle Heart, CTM, No Church Tonite, Forgiven, Little White Cottage, and Venus stopped the rain. There are no weak ones...
This album will speak to you, and even though the breakup of Bennett and Tweedy is too bad, I think Bennett/Burch have something going here..Who is Edward Burch anyway? Whoever he is, he and Bennett have an album equal to Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, and that is saying something.
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Format: Audio CD
I suppose it's natural for the breakup of a band (or one musician's removal as was the case with Jay Bennett being forced to leave Wilco) to cause fans to take sides and proclaim one side the victor. This happened when Uncle Tupelo broke up and people took sides either with Jay Farrar or Jeff Tweedy. Personally, I couldn't care. They are both stellar musicians and I've enjoyed their respective work over the past several years.
This album by Jay Bennett is surprisingly good and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys Son Volt/Jay Farrar, Wilco, Ryan Adams, or any other singer-songwriter who sings with passion. No, it's not Wilco, but for that I'm thankful. If he had left the band and tried only to repeat what Wilco was doing, he would be bashed left and right. Give the man some props for doing his own thing and enjoy it for what it is...Great music.
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