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If You Didn't Laugh You'd Cry

MarahAudio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Price: $11.39 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 12 Songs, 2005 $8.99  
Audio CD, 2005 $11.39  

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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. The Closer 2:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. The Hustle 3:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. City of Dreams 2:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Fat Boy 2:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Sooner or Later 3:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. So What If We're Outta Tune (w/ The Rest of the World) 3:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Demon of White Sadness 3:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. The Dishwasher's Dream 3:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Poor People 4:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Walt Whitman Bridge 3:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. The Apartment 3:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. The Sooner or Later Interlude 3:24$0.99  Buy MP3 

Amazon's Marah Store


Image of album by Marah


Within The Spirit Sagging



It is hard to remain indifferent in front of this band. You feel trapped by their music, drunk with it.

Every performance by MARAH is an explosion of vitality, energy and authentic passion for pure, undistilled rock&roll. Their melodies are so wonderful that they almost hurt, hitting you with well-aimed blows of honesty. Getting through them is ... Read more in Amazon's Marah Store

Visit Amazon's Marah Store
for 9 albums, videos, and 1 full streaming song.

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If You Didn't Laugh You'd Cry + 20,000 Streets Under the Sky + Float Away with the Friday Night Gods
Price for all three: $29.70

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 18, 2005)
  • Original Release Date: 2005
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Yep Roc Records
  • ASIN: B000B5KRS4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #237,230 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Over the past decade we wrote and recorded two records on broken gear, played hundreds of shows touring in a van, made another self-produced record, one big-name-producer record, and had so many rotating band members we get dizzy just thinking about it. So, going into album number five, we decided to try something a bit different, something we've been talking about doing for quite a while recording the band live in the studio. Swift and raw. And so we did. If You Didn't Laugh, You'd Cry is a folk-punk collection of their most personal, introspective songs to date, all recorded in one or two takes in a very short amount of time (by Marah standards, at least!). Yep Roc. 2005.

Marah play things loose and easy on their self-produced fifth album, fusing folk-rock sincerity and garage-band recklessness with first-take immediacy. Since moving from Philadelphia to Brooklyn, they've put some musical distance between themselves and those frequent comparisons with a lower-rent (or at least younger and hungrier) Bruce Springsteen, though the harmonica that laces "Walt Whitman Bridge" conjures some familiar echoes. "City of Dreams" finds them channeling their inner Simon and Garfunkel, while the opening "The Closer" (go figure) sounds like Graham Parker fronting a neo-skiffle band. With "Out of Tune," songwriting brothers Dave and Serge Bielanko issue what amounts to a musical credo: "So what if we're out of tune with the rest of the world?" The go-for-the-throat vitality of the tracks makes the If You Didn't Laugh You'd Cry sound less produced than unleashed. --Don McLeese

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A band that matters. November 2, 2005
Format:Audio CD
I saw these guys live last summer and was blown away. I'd already heard "Kids in Philly" and "20,000 Streets," but their live show really pulled me in. I immediately located "Lets Cut the Crap," and anxiously awaited their new disc. "If you couldn't laugh, you'd cry" was worth the wait. If this disc is not on alot of best of lists and Xmas lists this year, well, we're screwed. I mean, look out over the rock and roll wasteland where your success is measured in units and where Rolling Stone magazine is a painted whore of a rag. Sadly, almost no one makes records that matter anymore, (remember the Clash)and it seems that if they do, no one listens. The airwaves are replete with bands that look like they came out of a gap commercials and play the same three chords with studied intensity, albeit while actually looking and sounding emotionally dead. Sadly, America is entirely taken up with this "30-second commercial" version of rock and roll. There aren't many who seem to be able to really connect the rock and roll dots from Jimmie Rogers to Hank Williams, Muddy Waters to the Rolling Stones, Blind Willie McTell to Bob Dylan. There are too many bands that try to be derivative of something, but they don't have what every great rock and roll band has -- honesty, sincerity, hope and desparation -- all at the same time. Except Marah. If you're looking for answers, at least this band asks the right questions. They've laid it on the line here; their hearts are exposed and their souls are stripped naked. Listen to the opening riff of "Demon of White Sadness" and if you don't feel the pull, you've got no soul left to touch. If the muse doesn't touch you and make you smile while listening to "Sooner or Later," then you've been neutered. Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When to Laugh, When to Cry, When to Shut up and Sing October 18, 2005
Format:Audio CD
Dylan went back down Highway 61, Marah walked back to an alley in Point Breeze, Philadelphia. It is an apt analogy for their entire fifth album If You Didn't Laugh, You'd Cry. Two white boys still searching for what the hell their beloved city means to them, and vice versa. Trying to find that invisible intersection where Mummers banjos meet Philly soul. Feeling along the Wall of Sound that Spector built, looking for any slight crevice or crack wide enough to let in all those hill songs just across the Mason Dixon line. And of course, there's that echo that started somewheres up in Asbury Park, comin' down the Jersey Shore to tie it all together.

If their quintessential second album, Kids in Philly, is an album so steeped in place that it almost drowns in the river it so frequently references, then IYDLYC is a stone skipped from bank to bank. It stays ever near the source of its material, Philadelphia, and everything that city connotes, but it also leaps up and down pointing towards the other locales that have been instrumental in shaping Marah, both the music and the band. In "The Closer", they make it clear right away they are not remaking KIP, nor are they shedding tears for halcyon days gone by as the narrator does in "East", the opener to 20,000 Streets Under the Sky (Album #4). No, in this song the singer is rambling down a Brooklyn street, drunk on beers, comraderie, and the possibility of seeing, "That girl." This is a song so un-self-conscious, that only a band perfectly comfortable in their own skin could make. This sentiment can honestly be applied to most of the record.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good One November 12, 2005
Format:Audio CD
I have long been an admirer of Marah's excellent Kids in Philly CD. Now, after repeated listenings, I'm giving this one the nod as this band's best. Focused, reckless, serious & fun all at the same time.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly brilliant December 5, 2005
Format:Audio CD
Albums this good don't come along every day - or even every year.

We are seeing the evolution of a band here. "Kids in Philly" was a great album for Marah in the same way that "Born to Run" was a great album for Springsteen. It was a burst of instinctive inspiration, everything young guys had dreamt of throwing into a rock and roll record. Springsteen then worked his record to death. I suspect Marah did not do the same.

With this new record, Marah have definitely not done the thing to death. They recorded these tracks in short sessions, 3 takes per song max, 9 days recording they say. What we get from that burst of confidence is a flowing, beautifully paced collection of great songs, with not a hint of filler.

The arrangements refer clearly back to the wonderful clattering clutter of "Kids in Philly", but the tonal separation is better, the placement of the clanging and rattling rhythmn items much more carefully considered, yet still with an instinctive rightness.

Individually, some of these songs are dazzling, and some of the lyrics highly reminiscent of Dylan or Springsteen in their pomp.

"The Dishwasher's Dream" is a wonderful flowing narrative of a dream, pure Zimmerman, but with Marah's personality stamped across it.

The bonus track, "This Time" is propelled by thunderous guitars, probably the closest to pure 6-string power rock that Marah have come.

"Poor People" carries a witty and quite savage lyric along beside a rattling good tune.

I can't really find much to fault with this album. You do need to listen to it a couple of times to get the best from it, mostly because Marah's arrangements are still dense and multi-layered, but my God it's worth the effort.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of the best bands in America you've never heard of.....
Published 1 month ago by John J Longacre
4.0 out of 5 stars Eclectic and brilliant
As stated in my review of 'Angels of Destruction,' I went out and purchased 'IYDLYD.' Maybe some would say I'm doing this in reverse but that's neither here nor there. Read more
Published on August 28, 2008 by Jersey Kid
4.0 out of 5 stars i owe you an apology.
i'm really sorry about this. i mean, i know that it's 2007 and all that, and that people are way way busy with jobs and family and friends and stuff, and nobody has even a second... Read more
Published on August 28, 2007 by fluffy, the human being.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great American Rock and Roll
I agree with the person a few reviews down. This is great American Rock and Roll. This is not the next Springsteen/E Street Band record, but it is Springsteen, The Stones, Stax,... Read more
Published on November 6, 2006 by ELO1216
4.0 out of 5 stars More Marah than any other record
More than any other recording, this is the best representation to date of this band. Their live shows are what have drawn me in. Read more
Published on September 19, 2006 by AdeWill
1.0 out of 5 stars MEDIOCRE
I think I like the actual guys in the band better than their music, and I dont' know them!! I had hopes, but I have a feeling this is just a tired effort that's over produced. Read more
Published on August 25, 2006 by Nancy Staltman
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm a big Marah fan now
My first exposure to Marah was Float Away, but I didn't like it and it kept me away from the band for several years. Read more
Published on June 29, 2006 by Niall
5.0 out of 5 stars best rock band in america/ the world!
If you're interested in rock n roll at all, you need to buy this record; by rock n roll I mean: the Rolling Stones; Townes Van Zandt; The Replacements; The Jam; and etc. Seriously. Read more
Published on February 24, 2006 by pittsburgh writer n'at
2.0 out of 5 stars Over-Rated Bar Band
I admit that I fell for the hype when I bought this CD. When I listened to the CD, I questioned myself. So, I went to see them recently in Milwaukee. Read more
Published on February 24, 2006 by Jerry from Wisconsin
3.0 out of 5 stars Turn Down The Megaphone Please...
I was a bit surprised by how amplified the reveiws of this cd are and am offering an alternate take. Read more
Published on December 14, 2005 by R.P. Tristram Coffin IV
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