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3.6 out of 5 stars
Time the Conqueror
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83 of 97 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 26, 2008
Format: Audio CD
TIME THE CONQUEROR is a mixed-bag of delights; I won't sugarcoat it. The album is heavy on the political, a knack that I wish Browne had left back in the 80s. Granted, if anyone is going to do political music, let it be rock's poet laureate...but still...when he cries "Why is impeachment not on the table/We better stop them while we are able," we can't help but wince. I mean, Jackson, there are just four months left...it's almost over...

The political tunes (with one exception) aside, the rest of the album borders, occasionally, on brilliance. Take "Just Say Yeah," perhaps one of the best tunes to capture the innocence of young, unexpected love since...well...since Browne wrote about it a few decades ago. "You would think you would see love coming," he croons, "but of course you don't." Or the stellar "Live Nude Cabaret," a journey into one man's troubled desire that has an in-your-face opening that betrays the narrator's struggle: "I went to the Live Nude Cabaret/To see what I could see/And I saw the ladies dancing/And I guess that they saw me." "Giving That Heaven Away" is a tale of love and rock 'n roll, while "Going Down to Cuba" melds politics and the beach into a melodic, relaxing number, the ocasionally harsh political lyrics ("They might not know all the freedoms you and I know/But they do know what to do in a hurricane") sung with his tongue a little bit closer to his cheek.

Considering the beauty and brilliance to be found in these tunes, it's disappointing that so much of the album is political. It's all VERY well written--don't get me wrong. Jackson Browne has long been the songwriter's songwriter; I think everyone reading this review knows and appreciates that fact. But even the greatest songwriter can get lost within his lyric every now and then..."Off of Wonderland," for example, an otherwise stellar tune, idolizes the 60s just a bit too much ("If we could just believe in one another/As much as we believed in John"), and "Where Were You" gets lost within its groove, so much so that you forget the lyrics are about the devestation caused by Hurricane Katrina, and Browne is bemoaning "How strong will we ever really be? How long do we imagine we'll be free?"

TIME THE CONQUERER is a welcome return from Jackson Browne; it's nice to hear some new material again (though, personally, I hope he will continue with his SOLO ACOUSTIC series as well). There is a lot wrong with the world today, and it is natural for a songwriter as talented as Browne to write and sing about it. We just wish he wouldn't do it SO MUCH. When he's singing about the woes of our nation, he's good...but when he's singing about the woes of our hearts, he's brilliant. That's what makes TIME THE CONQUEROR so frustrating--there are moments of brilliance (and we know he's capable of whole albums of brilliance) obscured by something just this side of mediocrity. Jackson Browne is a true poet, and this is an album worth being added to your JB collection...but, if you are a beginner, then start elsewhere. Start, perhaps, at the beginning. It's as good a place as any, and better than some.
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48 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2008
Format: Audio CD
When Bruce Springsteen inducted Jackson Browne into the ROCK & ROLL
HALL OF FAME a few years ago,he made an observation.His observation was that at a Jackson concert,there was ALWAYS a higher percentage of women
than men in the audience.The Boss then concluded that even though Browne tried to hide it,he was a rock-n-roll SEX symbol.He went on to say that
besides the obvious physical attraction,women were drawn to ol' JB because his songs gave the ladies a male perspective on the "game of love".Where is all this going you ask? I know I'll probably get trashed for this but...I feel TIME THE CONQUEROR is Jackson's first album that speaks directly to the male gender of the human species. Look at the cover of JB's 1972 debut with its soft image of Jackson on the cover with the "browne" background.A young coyote full of promise and ascension.Fast forward thirty-six years and look at the cover of his latest CD: a stark black and white image on a black background.Time the Conqueror!!! I read recently where someone(pcatt) wrote that at twenty years old,we have the face we're given but, at sixty years old,we have the face we've earned.What we have here is book-ends, ladies and gentlemen.TTC is a subdued album,there is no rock-n-roll, but I think that direction was on purpose.There are songs about the past,the future AND the present on this CD.Subdued is NOT the same as boring and besides,Jackson left the top 40 behind a long time ago.The title song
celebrates the fact that time heals all wounds BUT it also laments the fact that time will steal you blind.Two sides of the same coin,depends on how you toss it."Off Of Wonderland" and "Giving That Heaven Away"
are songs that have Jackson looking behind his shoulder,at a world where anything AND everything was possible. "The Drums Of War" IS a very powerful song,I just wish he would have sung it three or four years ago when
public opinion was still sitting on the fence."Where Were You"
comments on the inefficiency of the federal response to Hurricane Katrina .I live on the Texas Gulf Coast and we were hit by Hurricane
Ike a couple of months ago and the response by the local,state and federal governments was OUTSTANDING!!! So,in all fairness, the plight of New Orleans WAS a terrible lesson in emergency response,but,it has gotten better."Live Nude Cabaret" is not as cheesy as it sounds. Like most
men, Jackson remains enthralled by the natural wonderment of the female
gender of our species."Just Say Yeah" chronicles the joy of finding that
one special woman and enjoying the ride. Yeah,guys...this is Jackson's celebration of the male spirit.The good and the bad...but a celebration never the less. This TIME THE CONQUEROR may just become a classic.
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67 of 82 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
(3 & 1/2 stars) I was driving around today listening to the new JB CD and enjoying it - mostly. As other customers have said, it's always great to hear new music from Mr. Browne, and this one had its moments for sure. However, this was the first time I was a little tired of his political messages, and (worse) some of the songwriting felt flat to me. My top highlights included most of the poetic title track and the pensive "The Arms of Night" (classic Jackson). Some songs that never came to life for me were the Cuba song (a pretty weak JB tune), "Givin' That Heaven Away" (ho hum), and "Arms of Hunger." The latter number will either be received as a beautiful Browne ballad or a relatively boring trail-off. The musicianship IS excellent throughout, including the usual agelessly strong vocals from Jackson, but I don't think this will be one of his albums that I come back to very often. As for the political side... with songs about the war, Katrina, and even the Cuban embargo, at times listening to this CD felt a bit too much like reading The Nation. I fully understand that Browne the Activist is as much a part of the man as Browne the Troubadour, but I'm inclined to enjoy his music more "these days" when he stays closer to home with his subject matter.

P.S., What about that startling cover photo!?! I did a double-take on that one, did you?
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 24, 2008
Format: Audio CD
This is an interesting new album by Jackson Browne. He always makes thought provoking music. He is not afraid to express how he feels. "Where Were You" is a criticism of President Bush's handling of Hurricane Katrina. This song is nearly ten minutes long, but the lyrics are so moving and powerful. "The Drums of War" is a song that questions the purpose of the war in Iraq. Jackson's vocals on the track "Time The Conqueror" are so good. This song is about the uncertain nature of life. My favorite track is the upbeat track "Just Say Yeah". This is a good song about friendship. I also like the engaging song "Off Of Wonderland". This is a song about fighting for freedom and equality. The guitar playing is so good here. Jackson sings about the good old days of the sixties on the song "Giving That Heaven Away". I really enjoyed listening to this disc.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Well its been a while since Naked Ride Home. I think I preferred Naked Ride Home after the first few listens. I kept comparing this to the Long Road Out of Eden - Eagles. A couple of tracks invoked the same feelings.

Stand out tracks for me were Going Down To Cuba + Just Say Yeah + Drums of War. A couple of tracks drifted away at the end and didn't finish well. Some of the lyrics were great, as you'd expect from Jackson. He used a slightly different rhyming technique in many songs. On the political song side - I don't think JB is on George W Bush's xmas list.
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24 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Jackson Browne is my favorite singer-songwriter. After a six year wait for a new studio recording, my expectations were high. But this disc was a major let down. The first major problem is the fact that four of the ten tracks are political in nature, but none of these songs really grab you like some of his previous political tunes (I Am A Patriot, Lives In The Balance, Casino Nation). Other reviewers have noted a second problem which is that the album is "boring." The main reason is because it doesn't rock as much as some of his previous tunes (Boulevard, Running On Empty, Looking East, etc.) Too many the tracks are laid back mid-tempo numbers (Arms of Night, Live Nude Cabaret) or ones in which he gets nostalgic about the 60's (Off of Wonderland and Giving That Heaven Away, although I do like the latter of the two). There are some gems. The title track and Just Say Yeah are classic Jackson Browne tunes. In fact, I think Just Say Yeah is one of his best. I just can't imagine going back and listening to this disc a year from now. I like tracks 1,7, and 9, but the rest of the album I really don't care if I ever hear again. Jackson Browne's sales really fell off with 1989's politically saturated disc "World In Motion," I feel this CD will be unpopular also. I am such a devoted Jackson Browne fan it was tough to write such a negative review, but I call them like I see (or hear) them.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I like it when Browne or anyone else of his generation turns their mind to political issues. Politics, or social commentary have fired up some of the best songs recorded by Browne and his contemporaries.

But the problem with this album is that there isn't much in the way of tunes. Browne sounds tired and worn out by the end of it. His voice is still rich and warm, but he just gives the impression that he's over the whole thing.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon September 26, 2008
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
The cover definitely set me back. Gone is the smooth faced sable haired young man of my youth. This is the first time he's hidden his eyes from us, but not his soul. Never that.

If you don't want to hear about the state of the world or if it's a bit overwhelming, this is probably not the CD for you. As others have stated, JB is not on our President's Christmas list.

"Drums of War" is talks of Iraq. "Where were you?" is a heart wrenching tale of Katrina. "Going to Cuba" talks of the embargo--and gives one very unfavorable comparison to our own country, "at least they know what to do in a hurricane."

The title track is powerful and a reflection of the cover. Many of the artists I grew up with are contemplating musically on the theme of death and aging. Honestly, JB's song is stronger than Mellencamp's.

My favorites, "Arms of Night" and "Just say Yeah" for just plain fun.

The vocalization and playing on this CD is great. And bless JB for giving us a CD with some length to it. Okay, it's the 10-song iTunes based formula, but at least he's giving us almost 58 minutes' worth of music instead of the skimpy offerings I have seen of late. This is not my favorite JB CD, but it's definitely a strong effort. JB is one musician who proves with this CD he is still timeless.

Rebecca Kyle, September 2008
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 8, 2008
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
There's a song on "World in Motion" called "Anything Can Happen". In terms of melody, it was giant step for Jackson. The instrumental arrangements for which he had, up to that point, been known to labor over, sound awkward and don't hold up over time. The "song", however, soars and flourishes, in ways we'd not heard him sing before. I also think that it was around that time when he discovered that he, alone, could plant "melody" into a song, with or without, the help of his background singers and fellow players. On this new record there's another example of how he has developed as a composer (and singer) of melody. "The Arms of Night" is Jackson's "God Only Knows". For me, it's a highpoint, in a body of work unequaled.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 4, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I must admit that I thought this album was going to be a collection of protest songs full of rants and raves. The album is not. Instead, the harmonies, melodies and rhythem all works extremely well. It's somewhat reminicent of the classic Jackson Browne most of us appreciate. It's nice to see him making music again and it's a real treat that the music is still very, very good.

If you are a Jackson Browne fan, you will not be disappointed. Jackson Browne still has it and you need to get it.

Rob Michael
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