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Heart of My Own

4.9 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 26, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Recorded with Howard Bilerman at the mighty Hotel2Tango studio in Montreal, Quebec, nearly all the songs on Heart of My Own were written while on the road: traveling between cities, crossing the Canadian prairies, searching for a place to stop in the Nevada desert, trailing through the Smoky Mountains,standing in the bright dusk of a summer night in the Yukon.Perhaps most surprising was the strong influence her short time in theYukon had on this album. Basia spent five days and nights in Dawson City, where for the first time she experienced true silence.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 26, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rough Trade
  • ASIN: B002VVEA20
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,935 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Leif Sheppard VINE VOICE on January 26, 2010
Format: Audio CD
In 2007, Canadian artist Basia Bulat released her debut album "Oh, My Darling" to warm acclaim, eventually landing on the shortlist for the 2008 Polaris Music Prize (apologies Caribou, but Basia deserved it more). Also in '08, Rough Trade finally released the album here in the States, where I immediately was drawn to her smoky, almost ethereal, vocals. Clocking in at just over thirty-eight minutes, "Oh, My Darling" weaves between simple acoustic folk jaunts like "Before I Knew" (recently featured in a Subaru advert), to country-tinged pop numbers like "December", all the way to full-band arrangements like "Snakes and Ladders", replete with surging piano riffs and a sublime string section.

Now, in early 2010, sophomore effort "Heart of My Own" comes along as a pitch perfect winter release. Interest in this record has been building for months now, ever since lead single "Gold Rush" was made available on Bulat's website last year. Since then, she's been steadily incorporating new tracks into her recent setlists. "Gold Rush" is a song that could only be conceived by Bulat, with gorgeous vocals that wisp into the melody, then swell with epic grandeur into the chorus, all while the light percussion and buoyant string section intently follow her lead.

"Heart of My Own" was composed almost entirely on the road, as over the past year Bulat embarked on a whirlwind tour across her homeland, Australia, Europe, and the United States. This seems to have influenced her work here, as there is an immediate intensity to certain songs not present on "Oh, My Darling", though the intimate feel of Bulat's throaty vocals anchors it all wonderfully. I find that most records are an ephemeral experience, because I can typically glean all the artist has to offer with but a handful of spins.
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I love this new album from Basia Bulat. The music, to me, is fresh and artistic, as opposed to being commercial. I love her voice, although the vibrato turns some off, and occasionally I tire of it, as well. I like that she sings what is on her heart, and I also like the musical arrangements, that can differ greatly from song to song. Most favored: Gold Rush, Run, Walk You Down, If It Rains, and Heart of My Own. Least favored: Sparrow. The rest, I also like, and must say that they are finding a place in my heart. The more that I listen to them, the better that I like them.

This lady and her album have a folksy sound, picking up on different genres of music -- perhaps trying to showcase her versatility? Some are a bit bluesy, some are folksy, some have a tinge, maybe, of country music? This album is easy on the ears, and evokes many emotions.

i highly recommend it to those who like this style of music.Heart of My Own
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Format: Audio CD
If you play Basia Bulat's Heart of My Own twice, you'll play it a hundred times. Compelling lyrics, addictive melodies and spare, effective instrumental arrangement. Think of Basia Bulat as a more poetic and folky Natalie Merchant. A note (too much information?) about her voice, specifically the tremolo or fast vibrato: Having grown up in proximity to Quebec may have imparted a Canuck influence, natural or nurtured, to her vocal production. A fast vibrato is endemic to French singers, be they popular (Edith Piaf, Charles Trenet) or operatic (Mado Robin), and more recently and perhaps familiar, the Montreal-born McGarrigle Sisters (highly recommended). Native American folk singer Buffy St. Marie would be the most famous Stateside "case" of tremolo. In certain voice types, tremolo is an indication of a free voice. If you go back to the early 20th Century "golden age" of opera singers, you will hear lots of tremolo in singers of all nationalities; in today's pasteurized and processed musical world, tremolo has practically been banned from the operatic stage. Anyway, I'll shut up if you buy the CD.
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My wife and I saw Basia open for Devotchka and were won over immediately with her amazing voice. This album is fantastic from start to finish. Great voice, great songwriting, great delivery. I wish more people had a chance to hear this album - I believe it would become a favorite for many. This music is good.
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Bulat's voice catches you first. You cannot place it, but there is something interestingly sweet about her vibrato and tone. It's the perfect greeting, like Laura Dern emerging from the darkness in Blue Velvet. Her lyrics, however, tell a different story: she uses the pathos in her voice to deliver us back into the darkness of life, specifically through love and relationships. I got the feeling that this was someone could never love again (or, to be fair, the character she creates in the songs) but somewhere, there is hope- there can be forgiveness and there can be redemption.

Each song creates a space for itself without having to admit that the album as a whole creates a singular vision, which it does in the layers of each track. Upon reaching the end, there's a sensation that exists and I believe that must vary from person to person. For me, however, it's what i described above: a sense that that the universe is vast and that maybe, if you're lucky, there is hope somewhere in it.
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