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Masts of Manhatta Import

4.3 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, July 13, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

'Masts of Manhattan' is Tracy Bonham's best and most personal record to date, and reflects the singer's peripatetic lifestyle, moving between tango-influenced rhythms, Tom Waits-inspired Klezmer folk-punk and pastoral country with multiple pit stops in between. Produced by Tchad Blake (Elvis Costello, Bernard Fanning) and featuring Smokey Hormel (Beck, Johnny Cash). Romance, love and heartache make their appearance, but where Bonham's early vocal efforts displayed a rebellious snarl, the singer nowadays takes a softer, if no less direct, approach.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 13, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Engine Room Records
  • ASIN: B003O9861Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #200,373 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. D. HEALY on May 16, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Great singing, and every song shows a different mix of musical influences. My wife kept saying things like "oh that track sorta reminds me of..." naming a different performer with each track.

I doubt this album will get anything like the sales it deserves because it doesn't fit any marketing niche -- and she clearly did not care about fitting into any slot. Wikipedia says "alternative rock," which is correct as far as it goes, but doesn't begin to capture the mix of influences including folk, Middle East, Classical, and Klezmer that can be heard on this album.
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By Trevor on October 28, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Her musicianship is simply amazing. I feel that the lack of production with this album only adds to the character of the songs. You truly hear what was meant to be heard. Nothing more. Nothing to hide behind. Many artists try to pull it off but fall short. Not Tracy Bonham. She executes it perfectly.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It's odd to hear that Tracy Bonham gets smacked with a folk label and gets compared with Sheryl Crow. First, she doesn't use any form of voice shaping tools--where one can hear the Glee-Tunnel-Noise from that Crow person on every song. It is clearly not her voice that gets compared.
More, since album one, this young lady has kicked ass on every album she's done. And improved. And the recordings get better. And the all-encompassing-experience improves CD by CD.
She's more a Regina Spektor than an annoying Crow.
This newest album is long in the coming and you feel the variation in the years she wrote each song or recorded them--that said, she managed to put them forth as a whole experience and make them all a cogent whole of a listening experience. Her earlier albums didn't have that. They staggered from tune to tune--all good, but none near each other in feel.

This album is her best so far... I put a Tom Waits label on her music--as she seems to want to follow his path of growth--if not his alcoholic-stupor and then growth.
It may be that marriage has offered her a clean and simple ability to move back and forth from NYC to Woodstock and live a combo-lifestyle that few get the opportunity get--but she does so with aplomb and it shows in her music.

This album belongs in your top 25 rotation.

Tracy Bonham is and will be a going and growing keeper for albums to come.
Buy her music. Be glad that as good as Mother, Mother was--she's saving her voice for more.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This was a gift for my daughter, who lives in Brooklyn and loves all things New York (but still misses Austin, TX!). I preordered it because I loved the artist, even though my daughter has never heard of her. She is now a new convert and ordered the CD for one of her NY friends! An ordering must for folky New Yorkers!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've been following Tracy since her breakthrough "Mother, Mother" back on "the burdens of being upright" since then I've tried to pick up everything she's released. I remember when "Down Here" came out. THAT was an amazing follow up to her previous album.
Popping the disc in this time for Masts of Manhatta was not the same this time. It starts out pretty good. I have to say the first few tracks are quite good. "Big Red Heart" is probably the strongest track on the album and my favorite so far. I was suprised she didn't credit "Sting" on this track though, the whole "you, and me, in love and misery. . ." sounds EXACTLY the same as the melody when Sting says "me with you and all the things you do. . ." back in 87 in his song: "We'll Be Together" on "Nothing Like The Sun." (take a listen; Trust me) seriously it could have been intentional because Tracy's intent with her lyrics on the melody are the opposite of Stings so it was a treat to hear that here, though I'm not sure she will say it was intentional.

ANYWAY,
After track 5, 6-11 are VERY hit or miss. (sometimes within the same song) She's got such a great unique voice, I wish she would use it more like she does on "Big Red Heart" or from before: See "Freed" "You Don't Know Me" the afor-mentioned "Mother, Mother" "Tell It To The Sky"

I don't have "blink the brightest" yet, so I can't compare "Masts" with it, but I do have "Liverpool Sessions" "The Burdens of Being Upright" and "Down Here" so I BELIEVE I have a good cross-section of what she's capable of.

All-in-all, I enjoy "Masts of Manhatta" simply because it's nice to hear from Tracy. she is a unique talent and someone who should not be missed. Is "Masts" her best submission? No.
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Format: Audio CD
Tracy Bonham's new album is filled with beautiful, heartfelt songs and the wait for Masts of Manhatta was surely worth it. Bonham has not lost her touch and her musical and vocal talent is evident on tracks such as Devil's got your boyfriend and big red heart. A must buy.
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