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Have One on Me Box set

4.1 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, February 23, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

JOANNA NEWSOM fans: don't look now, but Joanna's about to let her hair down-and that s a considerable task these days. Of course, to the demure Mme. Newsom, this 125 minutes-worth of songs is nothing more than a new album. Through the course of Have One On Me's eighteen songs, Joanna visits upon us ditties, weepies, court dances, rump-bumpers, epics and moments of wraparound fantasia. Have One On Me-ah, have three, they're small!
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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6:03
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6:25
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Disc 2
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1:48
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8:41
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4:23
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8:02
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5:31
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Disc 3
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6:29
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7:56
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8:01
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6:10
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9:11
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 23, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Drag City
  • ASIN: B0034C263A
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,265 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Mr. D. A. Jones on February 23, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I could quite legitimately be described as a Newsom fanboy. I have loved everything she has done from the helium voiced early Ep's to the intricate fables of Ys. I have seen her live 10 times, and would quite like to marry her. So I am biased, I admit it. At the same time, I think I have a sufficiently independent mind to judge each album on its own merits, and am able to hold my swoon long enough to engage my brain (this is not true at her concerts - she could sing me Uzbeki nursery rhymes backwards and I would be spellbound).

My initial reaction to 'Have One On Me' ( as with most of her output) was slightly puzzled and cautiously hopeful. I know from experience that the structure, punctuation and resonances of her work take time to settle and form, so I have let the music slosh through me and wash over me, holding back any critical judgement. And all of a sudden, as I hoped it would, the shape took form. While I have been familiar with some of these songs for a while now, it was a new new one, Go Long that seeded the crystal. The novelty of this album is a typically much longer melodic line, accompanied by a softer voice (brought about by a throat infection last year). The spacier, ringing arrangement of Go Long illustrates this change - gone are sharp points and counterpoints of The Book of Right On et al, or even the rush and tumble of Emily - instead she holds her voice, fluctuating or slowly descending around a slow, deliberate harp.

These songs are given much more musical space than the more wordy Ys, and this, combined with more varied arrangements and drawn out phrases, creates an initial impression of a hazy, unfocussed album. Once you catch the idea though, and let the slow ebb and flow of her newly sanded down voice carry you, you get it.
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Format: Audio CD
If "Ys" from 2006 has taught us anything, its that eloquence & harmony can go together most remarkably, a fact that Joanna Newsom has attempted to replicate on this triple-disc project. As a standalone body of work it is peerless, as a companion piece to "Ys" it is transcendent, and as a cohesive statement about the artists' work, it is exemplary. However, despite the accolades that one might afford it, the project is indeed `difficult' and a labor to sit through, in portions. This is true even if one has been a Newsom follower for a while. It is also impossible to imagine taking all of this in during one sitting, as it is rather long-winded and deserves a dedicated amount of investment.

"Have One on Me" attempts to chronicle something, though of course the easiest word to ascribe to this is `relationship'. However, as "Ys" has shown us, the lyrical imagery birthed by her lyrics seem far removed from dry and mundane things such as humans and their romantic entanglements. That said, it is difficult to find the baroque, and indeed, medieval elements that made "Ys" so stunning, on this record. At best, this is a very different work, thematically and sonically, with various standouts at every juncture. Ironically, this listener found the much praised tracks ("Good Intentions Paving Company", "Does Not Suffice") to be amongst the weaker of the lot. It appears that Joanna really takes flight with the free-form tracks, and while she sounds pleasant enough on more conventional songs, it is her sprawling mess on the title track, and "Kingfisher" that automatically stand out.
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Format: Audio CD
Yeah, sure, I know, it's been months since Have One On Me was released. Many months. But this is a triple album. And not just any 'ol triple album, a long, heavy, stylistically diverse triple album from one of today's most unique and indescribable musicians. The question, in this writer's opinion, is not "why did I take so long to review the record," but, rather, "how did all these other reviewers get to know these songs so quickly?" (In my world, you have no business writing a word about an album until you really get to know it.)

To say that Have One On Me is a whopper of a record is an understatement. Have One On Me, Newsom's third proper studio record and first since she released her modern day classic, Ys, is beautiful stuff - elegant even. Absolutely original, and in many, many different ways - no doubt about that. The real questions here are simple: 1) Is Joanna Newsom able to build on the majesty and mystery of Ys, and, if so, how could that even be possible? and 2) Did she really need to release a triple album?

We'll start with question No. 2. Yes, she needed to release a triple album. Why? Well, because the style of music Newsom makes is overwhelming. Taking up about 124 minutes of disc space, Have One On Me could've easily fit on two discs with room to spare. But Newsom, wisely, I think, split her songs up into three separate pieces, by doing so, keeping her listeners from feeling overwhelmed. I was skeptical at first, and thus slow to play along. Eventually I started digging in, getting to know one disc at a time, spending about a month or two with each disc before moving on to the next - no matter how strong the urge to jump ahead was. The result? About nine months of never-boring and very-frequent Newsom-love.
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