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What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2011
One of the great joys of stumbling across new artists particularly on some of the American music blogs is finding tasters for what turn out to be some of your favourite albums. Last years great thrill in this respect was discovering the Bowerbirds "Upper Air" an album of lovely cloud-drifting Americana, this years looks like it might be by another band with our feathered friends in their title namely The Mynabirds.

The Mynabirds are actually a vehicle for the huge talent of Laura Burhenn based out of Omaha with a album produced by singer songwriter Richard Swift who is something of a minority taste on Amazon. She records on the Conor Oberst "Saddle Creek Label" on whose site the album is streaming. Of course the band name has in the past which was associated with Neil Young's first group the Mynah Birds which is a nice link to fact that in a recent interview Burhenn has openly stated that as a point of reference that "I always wanted to make a record that sounds like Neil Young doing Motown". I'm not certain whether she has achieved that for what the listener hears on "What We Lose In The Fire We Gain In The Flood" are clear echoes drawn from singers as varied a Patsy Cline, Neko Case, Jenny Lewis, Dusty Springfield and even the Velvet Underground (the excellent "Ways of Looking")

Her voice does have somewhat of a chameleon like quality and her song writing is so assured you feel that some of them could be established standards not new works. Check out for example the gentle chiming break up love song "Right Place" where you can feel the hurt in her voice The opener "What we gained in the fire" is a slow piano ballad with a soulful vocal by Burhenn that is destined I suspect to be covered by many other artists and her vocal hits the mark. The single "Numbers dont lie" is a real highlight and drifts in with a slightly Spectorish feel and a vocal which recalls that big voice that Linda Ronstadt brings to her songs. "Let the record go" is one of the most up-tempo on the album and this time its Chan Marshall circa "The Greatest" who haunts the song. When you hear one of this albums true highlights the anthemic "We made a mountain" you could happily imagine Janis Joplin belting this out in a mildly inebriated fashion as it is one of those classic "hurt" ballads that confirms the decision of the great Rev Al Green to get Ms Burhenn to open some of his recent concerts in the States. There is plenty of other great songs on this hugely confident album especially the thumping "Wash it out". Throughout in the mix of Burhenn's soaring voice and heartfelt songs she hardly puts a foot wrong and as a result she is destined to be Pop Chanteuse who will stand out from the crowd.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood is an album credited to the Mynabirds but really is nothing more than pseudonym for the talented singer Laura Burhenn. Ms. Burhenn has crafted a deep and rich sounding album that bounces between light and dark moods. The album's opening "What We Gained in the Fire" has a slow, driving dirge like sound which is followed up by the pounding thump of "Let The Records Go". "Numbers Don't Lie" recalls early Carole King with its catchy piano riff while "We Made A Mountain" evokes Dusty Springfield with its Memphis style horns. "LA Rain" and "Wash It Out" are both immensely catchy and wouldn't have sounded out of place on an AM radio station in the mid 70's. The album misses in a couple of place like the mopey "Give It Time" and "Right Place", but they are just minor bumps on an overall strong album.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 2010
I first heard this album reviewed on NPR. WOW. I am so happy I picked this up. The Mynabirds southern gothic soul is amazing. Every track on this album satisfies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2010
This is a wonderfully timeless-sounding album -- at times sounding like Dusty Springfield or the best of early 70s pop with both a touch of Motown and a touch of blues. I was not at all familiar with Laura Burhenn or Richard Swift's work before this, but I quickly fell in love with what they've put together here. Just sit back and listen to "We Made a Mountain" -- three minutes of pure pop that would have a place in any era.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2010
This is the finest work I've heard in recent months. Far beyond the oft-expressed youthful angst shown as a reaction to life's journey, the thoughtful expression of lessons learned is beautifully rendered in the lyrics and piano of this talented, creative, musician.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2013
The gospel quality of this album is wonderful without being preachy or overly wrought with specificity in a religious vein. The voices are insane. The music is amazing. Just get it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2013
Heard a song on Grey's Anatomy, and fell in love with this different sounding band! So good, I bought their other cd!
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on June 8, 2010
Words cannot express how well this album melds different influences (D.Springfield, C.King, L.Reed, SoCal of the late 60s/early 70s). It flashes by in about 33 minutes and you just want to listen to it again. Some of these songs sound like songs I grew up with on the radio (and are cannon with my baby boomer parents).

I feel like a quick listen to the 2 songs currently on the band's Myspace should convince the listener to make the purchase.

I really, really hope this band gets the attention they deserve!
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on September 18, 2010
This album was recommended to me and I am not disappointed. The lead singer's voice is soulful and smooth, love listening to it. I am not super familiar with this band, but am enjoying getting to know their style. They have a kind of mod feel to them with a modern twist. Really like it.
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on December 13, 2012
A hypnotic aura surrounds this but, in a beautifully classic way. Pairs very well with "Generals", where there balance each other out.
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