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Kids in Philly

3.8 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Swaggering, yet passionate. Chaotic, yet charming. Opposites attract in the band Marah, as this Philadelphia foursome take an emphatic, erratic, poignant, and tension-filled ride through the dark and colorful streets of their hometown with their second album. Alt-country king Steve Earle was stunned by the band's innovative debut, Let's Cut the Crap and Hook Up Later Tonight, and turned over the keys to his Nashville recording kingdom, releasing Kids in Philly on his own label. Led by the Bielanko brothers (guitarist Serge and singer Dave), Marah turns Philly into a raucous, 21st-century echoing of Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska. The results (a roughshod entanglement of Pogues-style banjo, rock & roll mandolin, Memphis horns, and loud guitars) are remarkably original: imagine the Replacements' Pleased to Meet Me with Springsteen at the mic. --Scott Holter

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Faraway You
  2. Point Breeze
  3. Christian St.
  4. It's Only Money, Tyrone
  5. My Heart Is The Bums On The Street
  6. The Catfisherman
  7. Round Eye Blues
  8. From The Skyline Of A Great Big Town
  9. Barstool Boys
  10. The History Of Where Someone Has Been Killed
  11. This Town


Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 21, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: March 21, 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Artemis Records
  • ASIN: B00004RDJI
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #193,028 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
When you're sitting in your flying car watching VH1 2050 they'll still be talking about this CD. One of the most original things I've ever heard, Kids in Philly is my pick for album of the year. The songwriting is as evocative and moving as any I've ever heard. "The Catfisherman" is an instant classic. If you've heard comparisons to Springsteen or The Replacements, forget 'em. Marah covers some of the same territory - the landmarks are there - but they've created a whole new landscape. Less sentimental than Bruce and closer to Tom Waits than Paul Westerberg, Marah's work is raucous, celebratory, touching, unnerving, and downright beautiful.
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By A Customer on March 16, 2001
Format: Audio CD
It's amazing that crap like Third Eye Blind or Lifehouse gets played on the radio, and smart, gutsy, honest music such as Marah is ignored. "Kids In Philly", while not quite the masterpiece it aspires to be, is one of the most ambitious rock albums in a while. Most of the all time great albums have a themetic unity that glues the songs together. "Born To Run", "Blood On the Tracks", "OK Computer", "London Calling" etc. etc. "Kids" biggest asset is the very same themetic unity, but it may also be the hindrance keeping the album from being an instant classic along with the above mentioned. "Kids" is a great leap forward from "Cut The Crap", their first album, much the same way that "Being There" was a leap forward from "A.M." for Wilco. The first album was a great collection of songs held together by everything except theme. This time they have tried for a concept album. Not an overblown and pretentious album like "The Wall", but an album about the streets of Philadelphia, like Springsteen used to write about Asbury Park. These guys are excellent songwriters, giving nearly every line and word the right detail so the listener can close their eyes and imagine being where someone has been killed, or fishing under a bridge, on in the middle of Christian St. I've been to Philly once in my life and I feel like I know the city like the back of my hand. The characters are ones we all know, and love them or hate them they keep it interesting. This is one of those albums that needs to be listened to straight through, unlike "Crap", where the individual songs may stand out more. That's not to say that their aren't great songs here.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I had never heard, or heard of, Marah before until I read a rave review of this album on a blog that I really like, so decided to give it a shot. The first time I listened to it I though it was Steve Forbert singing, especially the guy started playing the harmonica. More "Alive on Arrival" than "Jackrabbit Slim, but a definite Forbert vibe, unlike with unmistakable nod to Springsteen. But unlike Amazon's main editorial review, I don't hear "Nebraska" at all. Instead, many songs on this album have a distinct "Greetings from Asbury Park" sound to them. And as far as I'm concerned that's a very good thing!

Marah has taken those influences and rocked things up a few of the songs (people have used the Replacements for comparison, but I lean more toward the Hold Steady as kindred musical spirits) and the results are mostly very good. I wasn't blown away by all of the songs. "The Catfisherman", for example, sounds like a hackneyed attempt at being funky that just doesn't click. But when these songs DO click and fire, the melodies and energy are infectious. Overall, a most impressive album.
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Format: Audio CD
"round eye blues is a masterpiece" ... great sound, haunting memories of the war that will not go away ... the rest of the disc is good-excellent, but this one song ... the detail, the feelings, the hurt, the fear ...
i have a 20 year old daughter, junior in college, that heard this song, looked at me, asked: "who is that?,... and play it again!"
i hear all the comparisons to springsteen, which, is, of course, fine and good. i heard a rockin' steve forbert ... that raspy/scratchy voice, ... great rock and roll ... marah, by the standard they set, are an unrecognized force ... these guys, on this disc, are too good not to hear and feel ... it is wondrous.
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Format: Audio CD
This is one album that sure gets under your skin. I bought it because of all the good things I'd heard, but on the first listen, I wasn't that impressed. Sure it had a decent sound, but the songs don't have hooks, so to speak, so it didn't grab me.
That said, I put it on again for another listen. This time it was for the long drive home through traffic on a beautiful afternoon, and what a difference! Suddenly the tunes flowed together perfectly, and it was just like I was at the coolest party in town. I can definitely see why folks who are Marah fans love them live.
Sure it sounds like Springsteen and the Pogues put together. What a mix!
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By A Customer on April 28, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I cannot stop listening to possibly the most joyous opening cut on a rock and roll album in decades. Faraway You has some Boss, some Stones, some Mats, but in the end it's Marah, and it's exhilarating.
I also love the breathless move to Point Breeze, a great party record.
Round Eye Blues is pretty powerful, a song Phil Spector may have produced after watching ApocNow.
Philadelphia: Rocky Balboa, the '82-'83 76ers, Live Aid, the '93 Phillies, and Marah.
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