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I Don't Want To Let You Down
LP (12" album, 33 rpm)
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I Don't Want to Let You Down
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One of music's most astute cartographers of the heart, able to squeeze enormous sentiments into especially small spaces, Sharon Van Etten offers up documents of surrender and disappointment, admission and longing with this 5 song EP, I Don't Want to Let You Down.
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If you're looking at this page then you almost certainly know Sharon van Etten's work already, and you won't be disappointed in this. It has all the quality and intensity of the excellent Are We There, with thoughtful, self-revelatory songs sung with that almost agonised voice at times which gives them such power. These are generally at the more beautiful, atmospheric and evocative end of van Etten's range: I find the title track, Pay My Debts and the fabulous I Always Fall Apart all extremely affecting, and the other two tracks are excellent, too.
Just to give a flavour of van Etten's lyrics, this, from I Always Fall Apart is a fine sample:
"You know it's always been my heart,
You know I always fall apart,
It's not my fault, it's just my flaw
It's who I am."
Set beautifully, and magnificently sung with that wonderful way she has of hitting a note from below and sliding on to it, this has a really profound impact on me, and the whole EP is full of sheer quality and class from beginning to end. It's a miniature masterpiece, in my view - and I don't say that lightly. Very, very warmly recommended.