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Klassics With a K

4.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Klassics With A "K"
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Audio CD, April 29, 1996
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 29, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Grand Royal Records
  • ASIN: B000001X2X
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #306,046 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
In between Luscious Jackson albums, Jill Cunniff and Vivian Trimble formed this impromptu group as an outlet for more acoustic-based easy-listening fare. A summer breeze blows through these tracks, creating a relaxing and nostalgia-tinged atmosphere of AM radio classics. A handful of friends joined in on the sessions, with fellow bandmates Kate Schellenbach on drums and Gabby Glaser contributing some guitar work. Niko Tavemise adds trumpet to "One Sunny Day" and sings on the lovely "Red Umbrella," and Dean and Gene Ween provide guitar and vocals to one of the album's best cuts, "Don't Know Why." The material on this record is surprisingly consistent, especially for a side project of such a spontaneous nature. Fans of these gals will definitely want to give this a listen. While the Kostars have yet to reconvene for a follow-up disc, Vivian has since left Luscious Jackson to form Dusty Trails with ex-Breeder Josephine Wiggs (who produced and engineered "Klassics With A K").
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Format: Audio CD
The liner notes' claim that this album was somehow dashed off spontaneously in the woods may be dubious, but the album definitely has that vibe. The songs drift along effortlessly as you would expect, but when it's over you'll be surprised at how many of the melodies stay with you. By the third or fourth listen, you'll likely be as charmed by the whole album as you were by the 3 or 4 songs that snagged you on the first go-round... This is how albums are suposed to work. Once you get past the inherent tweeness of the sound, you'll have this disc in your player for at least a month. Apparently rumors of a follow-up have been laid to rest by the departure of one of the members from their day-job band Luscious Jackson. That's a real pity, because this album is as tasty and satisfying as any LJ album could ever hope to be.
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Format: Audio CD
How is it that everything remotely connected to Luscious Jackson is SO GOOD? Another of their side projects, entitled Dusty Trails, was an obscure band formed by the girls to record their fantasies of 1950s film-noir soundtrack-influenced melodies. That album (titled simply "Dusty Trails") has gone on, over the years, to occupy a place on my Top 10 Albums of All Time list. It truly is quite a revelation. Of course, like anything that is actually a masterpiece, it is also out of print.

That brings us to this other side project of the Luscious Jackson girls - Kostars. You couldn't tell by looking at the cover, that this is actually ambient folk-meets-pop music with acoustic Americana influences. In fact, when I first heard of the album, the cover seemed to me like one of those mid-1990s Danish/Swedish pop albums that you can now find in the $1 bin.

But what a shocker. "Klassics with a K" is indeed that - track after track of the most beautiful melodies and harmonies. I would call this 'folk-pop' or 'acoustic pop' but there are so many other influences at work here - most notably bluegrass, and even a hint of the blues. This is truly a flat-out GORGEOUS album, with the strings and songs just OOZING beauty any which way you cut it. My favorite track "Red Umbrella" is a stunning gem - with its sweeping orchestration offset by the schoolgirl delivery of the lead duo. "Never So Lonely" opens the album on a poignant note - most of the songs here are quite adventurous in terms of their subject matter. Thankfully not all of them are about love and relationships.

In fact, the songs here sound just as bright and hopeful as their titles do - "One Sunny Day" is just that, and the sparse, tender beauty of "Jacqueline" is akin to listening to the best that Joan Baez had to offer.
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By A Customer on May 12, 1998
Format: Audio CD
This album is what pop music is all about. While it may not sit on your personal "greatest albums of all time" shelf when you're 60, its melodies will stay in your head and intoxicate you despite your best efforts to ignore them! The Kostars are really two members of Luscious Jackson, Vivian and Jill, with backing support from other LJ members and, strangely enough, the Ween brothers. The music is dominated happily by acoustic guitars and keyboards that create a mellow, summery feel. In keeping with the LJ style, the duo features more songs about strong women--always potent without being preachy. (Hint: the Kostars/Luscious Jackson know a lot more about "girl power" than the Spice Girls do!). While many LJ fans will turn to this album out of curiosity, some will realize that "Klassics with a K" is the best project to come from any LJ member(s) to date.
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Format: Audio CD
Insightfully delicious. Literally 13 years later and Jolene on the Freeway (my favorite song on the album) still pops into my head from no where. This is literally one of the best albums that I've ever owned. I still google to make sure that these two "co-stars" of Lucious Jackson haven't cooked up anymore tantilizing concoctions of their own. If you like groove rhythm, a goddess voice, and lyrical curiosity then you will love this album.
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