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Way of the World

18 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 23, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Mose Allison's ANTI- debut The Way of the World marks his return to the recording studio after a 12 year absence. Working with maverick producer Joe Henry, Allison has found his most sympathetic setting in years, surrounded by young, vibrant players, who add surprising slide guitar and some sinewy saxophone to the classic Mose sound.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 23, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Anti
  • ASIN: B0034PHWHW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,840 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Rob Szarka on March 26, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you're a Mose Allison fan, you're probably as happy as I that we have one more album from this great musician. If you haven't bought it yet, don't hesitate. But if you're new to Allison's work you might be wondering whether this is the place to start. Well, you can't go wrong with Allison Wonderland: Anthology, which contains too many great songs to list here; but you might do as well to start with Way of the World.

None of the new songs here quite rise to the level of Allison's very best work, but the acerbic "Modest Proposal" and the weary "The Way of the World" (co-authored with Joe Henry) come close. Most of the other material--a combination of new originals, re-recordings, and covers--is also strong. Loudon Wainwright's "I'm Alright" and Amy Allison's "Everybody Thinks You're an Angel" in particular are well-chosen, Allisonesque compositions that fit in perfectly with Allison's own work. (Allison's daughter Amy, an artist in her own right, also contributes vocals on a cover of Buddy Johnson's "This New Situation". She sounds like a cross between Victoria Williams and Blossom Dearie, and the effect of their unison singing is downright eerie.)

What truly distinguishes this album, though, is that producer Joe Henry has created what may be the best-sounding Allison album yet. The warm, clean sound is a lot like that on Henry's own albums, but it fits Allison, too. And Henry has assembled a cast of professionals (including the ubiquitous Jay Bellerose on drums and percussion) who enhance Allison's performances without ever getting in the way. Just compare the versions of "Ask Me Nice" and "Let It Come Down" included here with older recordings of the same tunes to hear the difference. We're all indebted to Henry for coaxing Allison back into the studio, but doubly-so for his tasteful production work.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Letendre-Gunn on May 7, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
After having the privilage of seeing Moses a few years ago in NH play, I immediately became a fan. Every time I hear Moses songs now I can't believe he's been around for so long and I never heard his music being played on the radio. He has to be the coolest due around. I was excited to learn he had a new release after many years and he didn't let me down with it. I love it. I keep listening to it again and again, too. So worth it. I highly recommend it. It's great.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Rick Cornell VINE VOICE on April 26, 2010
Format: Audio CD
When I first heard this c.d. a few weeks ago, I was going to rate it 4 stars. It seemed almost heretical to do so, but I was going to draw the comparison of 82-year-old Mose Allison to the Philadelphia Phillies' 46-year-old pitcher, Jamie Moyer. The point being: it's incredible that a 46-year-old can go 13-14 with a 4.80 e.r.a. in the Major Leagues; but 13-14 with a 4.80 e.r.a., while worthy of the big leagues, doesn't get you into the All-Star game.

But you know, this c.d. has grown on me. The wisdom throughout has invaded my psyche.

"Modest Proposal" did that on the first listen. I think giving God, Allah and Mohammed a vacation is a splendid idea (especially if it stops the wars fought in Their names, though Mose doesn't quite go there). And "Once in Awhile" is a nice, heartfelt ballad from the first listen.

But the rest of the c.d. infiltrates the brain (even brains that lose 1200 neurons every hour, as in Mose's per. track 1, a riff on the old folk song "This Train"). The only song that really doesn't is the last one, "New Situation": but perhaps that's because Mose's daughter, who sings with him there, sounds more like his great-granddaughter.

With Mose Allison, the lyrics are primary, the musicianship (although fine here) secondary. The songs, though short, are thoughtfully done. The c.d. is worth checking out, especially if you're a "gray panther" or the like. RC
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By B. on April 27, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
First of all, I'm a big fan of Mose Allison, starting in '68. I have many Mose Allison recordings and his unique style and writing have a special place in my heart and soul. And that's the 5 star part of the album. New Mose Allison songs are guaranteed to become part of music's lexicon, and chapter and verse of the iconoclast's bible. "Let's Give God a Vacation" alone is worth buying the CD.

I'm less smitten, however, with the production. I know it's billed as fresh and hip, with a "maverick" producer. But for my taste, most of this is a little too front-porch-down-home for me. It's almost like someone heard Mose's Mississippi drawl, and automatically conceived of the southerner-as-hick sound. To me, Mose has always been a hip jazz player with an acute observer's angle, and yes, some of his phrases are somewhat Bible Belt ("She was sweet and cool, cool and sweet, as homemade sin..."), but he's still a jazz cat.

To hear how he sounds live, check out the two volume "The Mose Chronicles," recorded in London. It's a hot trio/quartet date. Because it's his gig, that must represent his sound to him, right? And it ain't down-home.

I listened to Mose's "My Backyard" recently, and it has a poppin' swingin' New Orleans thing going for it with Johnny Vidacovich at the drums. "I finally found a drummer who knows how to play my music," says Mose in the liner notes. I would highly recommend that CD as a more representative and hip Mose gig.

This one? It's worth it for the songs, but the production doesn't swing. I wish Mose had been a little more involved in the sound.

""I have no idea how it went. I don't like to listen to myself. I haven't really listened that much to the new record, so I don't know." Mose Allison, quoted on [...].
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