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The Way I Should

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Audio CD, October 8, 1996
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$32.27 $4.99
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

No Description Available
No Track Information Available
Media Type: CD
Street Release Date: 10/08/1996
Genre: FOLK

Iris DeMent's 1994 My Life is the best country album released in the 1990s. Yet with its gorgeous string-band arrangements and its heartbreaking tales of home and family, it's so timeless it could just as easily have been released in the '30s as the '90s. By contrast, there's no mistaking which decade DeMent's album, The Way I Should, comes from, with its crossover-country sound and its references to Calvin Klein, MTV, child abuse, "quality time," and Beavis and Butt-head. Nonetheless DeMent's twangy Arkansas soprano and detail-filled lyrics are as sharply original as ever. DeMent's voice seems to glow on "This Kind of Happy," a love song co-written with her outspoken admirer, Merle Haggard, and on the prayer-like "Keep Me God." --Geoffrey Himes

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. When My Morning Comes Around 3:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. There's A Wall In Washington 5:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Wasteland Of The Free 5:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. I'll Take My Sorrow Straight 3:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. This Kind Of Happy 3:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. The Way I Should 4:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Letter To Mom 3:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Keep Me God 3:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Quality Time 4:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Walkin' Home 5:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Trouble (Duet With Delbert McClinton) 7:33$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 8, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Off Roster
  • ASIN: B000002N5K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,754 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Peter Durward Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on September 26, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This album is very different from Infamous angel and My life, her first two albums that had an old-timey feel to them, with lyrics based on themes that are standard fare in country music. Here, Iris updates her sound - it has a more contemporary feel without selling out - but (more significantly) her lyrics are very different, dealing with the kind of political issues in the tradition of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie. As I've indicated elsewhere, I can enjoy political music even when I don't agree with the opinions expressed. Not everybody can, a fact that Iris seems to acknowledge in the liner notes, in which she declared that she was willing (if necessary) to lose a lot of fans because it was important to express her views. So Iris may have lost some fans due to the lyrics and other fans due to the more contemporary sound, but this is a fine album well worth hearing.

In one song, Wasteland of the free, Iris rages about the hypocrisy of preachers who don't behave in a manner befitting their status, politicians dependant on corporate finance, wealthy businessmen opposed to minimum wages, children with guns, children with poor reading ability and going to war over oil. That's quite a lot to pack into one song.

Perhaps the song most likely to alienate fans with conservative views is Quality time. Iris discusses a wealthy family in which the parents don't have much time for the family. Clearly such families don't lead their lives in a way that Iris approves of.

Letter to Mom, a song about child abuse, is (thankfully) not a story about Iris or her mother but I'm assuming that Iris had somebody in mind when writing this song, as she feels so strongly about it.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Peter Reeve VINE VOICE on November 19, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Iris has been polarizing opinions and confounding expectations throughout her career and this, the third of her four albums to date, is no exception. Everything she does is heartfelt and musically satisfying but, being so varied, will not always be to your taste. She loses some fans and gains others with each release.

Some of the songs here hark back to the style of 60s protest songs, especially There's a Wall in Washington and Wasteland of the Free. I personally found the former (about the Vietnam commemorative wall) heartbreakingly powerful, whereas the latter came over as too strident and simplistic.

I still love Iris best when she is light and lyrical, as she is on my favorite track, When My Morning Comes Around. But long may she extend her thematic range and continue to explore new avenues of creativity. Listen to her with an open mind and an open heart and you may well fall in love with her too.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By is Adam Bartolik on June 2, 1998
Format: Audio CD
If you've never heard Iris DeMent tear through a tune, you're missing the boat. This is where country music should have logically grown, before taking a wrong turn near Hollywood. Her third outing shows more of the biting, sincere lyrics and Ozark rhythms that sets Iris apart from the smarmy formula Nashville spits out all too regularly now.
Tracks like "Walkin' Home" and "Letter To Mom" showcase DeMent's talent for writing about family -- all the good, bad and ugly pieces that make us individuals, but also give us common experiences. In "There's A Wall In Washington" and "Wasteland Of The Free", we hear the raging cynicism and heartfelt anger that is almost absent in country music now.
This album is all about accepting who you are and moving forward. "The Way I Should" and "When My Mornin' Comes Around" are the anthems for this spirit. Iris DeMent seems to be happy with who she is, consequences be damned. We should all be grateful for this.
The presence of artists like Earl Scruggs, Lonnie Mack, Delbert McClinton and Mark Knopfler among other greats, only adds to the credibility of this great songwriter. There's nothing on this album that will be heard in a car commercial. There's nothing on this album that will likely find your local "hot country" station. Be thankful, because these songs will touch you deeply and make you think. They won't be gone after 3 minutes. More likely, they will always be in the back of your mind, waiting for you to deal with them, like Iris has.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gregory Bruce Lovejoy on May 31, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Im surprised I had not heard of her before. Her incredible song writing talents both in lyrics and melodic construction are almost without peer. I have not purchased a CD of an artist I was not allready familiar with that I have enjoyed so much. I highly recommend it to anyone who appreciates good song writting.
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17 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Larry L. Looney on June 26, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This, Iris Dement's third cd, marks a bit of a departure from the style that so many fans embraced with her first two efforts -- but the songwriting is as strong, if not stronger that ever, and Iris' voice never sounded better. If she has taken this opportunity to speak out on some issues that are important to her (and, truth be told, to us all), then I say more power to her.
After two (for the most part) acoustic-based albums, Iris has chosen to stretch her own envelope a bit on this release -- some of these cuts rock, and one in particular, 'There's a wall in Washington', is pretty experimental in its arrangement. The multiple basses used on this track are very effective in establishing the mood of the piece.
I think a lot of people are a little disappointed when someone breaks out of the pigeon-hole in which their listeners have attempted to place them -- and this is true in all areas of the entertainment field. People get comfortable -- a little TOO comfortable sometimes -- thinking of an artist in a particular way, and when that artist steps out of these artificial boundaries a little bit (or a lot), the response can be pretty reactionary.
Several of the songs on this album deal with subjects that a lot of folks would be more comfortable ignoring -- depression and recovery, parents shrugging off the responsibility of raising their children, the scars left by the Vietnam War, etc. The strongest of the 'issue' songs on this set is 'Letter to Mom', in which a grown woman finally comes to terms with the sexual abuse she suffered as a child at the hands of her mother's boyfriend. Iris has said that this song is fictional, and there is no reason to disbelieve this -- even more reason to laud her for writing and performing it.
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