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We The Common

4.8 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

We The Common is the third album from the San Francisco band Thao & The Get Down Stay Down. The album was recorded at Tiny Telephone in San Francisco with John Congleton [St. Vincent, Bill Callahan, Explosions In The Sky] and features a duet w/ Joanna Newsom.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 5, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ribbon Records
  • ASIN: B00AGMT9DG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,368 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Dear Music Appreciators,

Right when the music started I knew it was going to be a good album, but when I heard that opening track bust open a minute later...I knew it was going to be a great album. Notice the stinging synth-string flourishes and listen for that big falsetto chorus with banjo pickin' on one side and fuzzy guitar rock on the other. Thao and company don't play regular ol' folk rock songs, they have a distinctive sound, and on WE THE COMMON every song finds a way to be interesting. Guitars get in your face on "City" but there's still room for stuff like vibraphones and a cappella singing. "We Don't Call" features honking saxophones. A hillbilly unison singer brings the twang on "Kindness Be Conceived," followed by "The Day Long," with it's noir tone and bouncing bass and snare combo, followed by needling, high register guitar work and Thao singing about not getting "naked enough" on "Every Body." You get the picture. WE THE COMMON is a patchwork quilt of interesting folk rock and-singer songwriter choices bound together by a unifying theme of simply making creative, personal, and passionate music. With so much variety and so many points of interest in this collection of songs, the album and even the band itself (with its unique and memorable band name) exude a sort of collaborative, joy-of-music persona that's contagious and that makes WE THE COMMON less like a formal "album" and more like a very cool party with some very musical friends.

Sincerely,

Constant Listener
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Thao Nguyen's latest album "We The Common" is a lot of fun and hearkens back to
her debut album "Like The Linen" (See my review of that.) in that it seems to go back to
Thao's folky, folk-rocky roots. That being said, it's also a lively CD that'll get you dancing
right along with it, even though you may be sitting. The tight, almost Blue-Grassy harmonizing
works and the listener never feels over powered by too much of a good thing.

"We The Common", the opening title track with its simple banjo intro soon expands into
a celebration of sound and seems a likely single for the album. "Kindness Be Conceived" takes
the listener up in to the pure air of the Appalachian Mountains on sweet dreamie harmonies.
There's never really a dull moment on the album, as the mood shifts so fast from one track to the
next that the listener, in turn, never really has a moment to take a breath.

Throughout, Thao's quirky, original singing voice adds immensely to the enjoyment of the songs
and to an understanding of the lyrics, as well. Thao's personal approach to her lyrics lets the listener
into her world and her head and helps to show that we all have a lot more in common than we tend to realize.

Best of luck to Thao and the band. Judging from the careful arrangement and performance of these
12 tracks, "We The Common" is hardly a "common" effort.
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I have been a fan of her music since her first Tiny Desk Concert following her fantastic release "We brave bee stings and all" and the songs "Bag of Hammers" and "Geography". She combines honest-clever lyrics with a beautiful sense of melody and multi-instrumental togetherness with her usual intimate style of self-reflection. And this latest one follows that pattern with even more insight and maturity despite her young age. Absolutely lovable.
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I first "discovered" Thao on NPR's "Tiny Desk Concert," which you can see on YouTube. The lyrics, her voice and intonation, and the way she played the guitar were so refreshingly unique. I immediately listened to some of her other songs on YouTube and knew that I just had to get "We The Common." I've listened to it repeatedly all week and still I want more. The different types of songs -- from music that would fit perfectly on Beale Street or the French Quarter to deep in Appalachia, rock to folk -- it's just a fantastic collection of some of the most original stuff I've heard in ages. I'm now a big fan of Thao and The Get Down/Stay Down, and I think that you will be too.
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Inedible! Just listen and you'll see. Thao had a unique sound that is unmatched I music today. I find it to be a refreshing blend of American folk, with hints of traditional Vietnamese sounds. Thao has a certain sensibility that is unmatched in today's music
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Amazon doesn't allow anything between "I like it" and "I love it", so I chose the latter as it closer resembles my feelings towards this album. I am a new T&TGDSD listener, but certainly (at my advanced age), not a new music fan as I've listened and loved many genres of music over the ages. Thao is refreshing and quirky in a good way, I think you either really love her voice or don't (I do, others don't), but you have to really appreciate the soul that comes through in this album. At times, it comes across as pop ("Every Body"), but it's fresh and really upbeat without being plastic pop. Other times, it's flat out really good ("We the Common" and "Age of Ice"), with "City" being a great example of her range and energy. She reminds me of how I felt when I first heard Roxy Music and the Talking Heads - no, there is no comparison in the style, more in the fact you recognize the depth of songwriting ability the first time you listen to the music. And I'd love to see Phish cover "City" or "Every Body", lol, just saying...
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