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One Part Lullaby

4.5 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

For 5 years, Folk Implosion's Lou Barlow and John Davis have created their own indie rock aesthetic - that is, when Barlow isn't splitting his time with alt-rock legends Sebadoh. In '95, Folk Implosion made mainstream inroads with the hit single "Natural One," from the Kids soundtrack. Now, they combine their smart and cryptic lyrical references with big, sugary pop hooks on their Interscope debut album. Focus tracks: "One Part Lullaby" and "Serge" (also a featured track on the upcoming film Gossip). [Note: This product is an authorized CD-R and is manufactured on demand]

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It isn't like anybody has been waiting around for "the great L.A. album," but several bands (Guns N' Roses, Hole) have nevertheless tried to make it. Who would expect that it would finally be done by a hung-up East Coast Romeo who followed his love to Los Angeles and found the city strangely to his liking? Folk Implosion singer-lyricist Lou Barlow is noted for his dejected love songs, and now he sings them to a city unsympathetic and detached, made of concrete and overpasses and not one to fall in love. Barlow is lucky that John Davis, his partner in the duo, is more sympathetic to his new metropolitan muse than his roughshod cohorts in Sebadoh. Davis layers dense ribbons of guitar and rhythms to re-create both the hazy pall of pollution that hangs over the city and the complex social strata that lives beneath it. Barlow's lyrics reference both his flight from the East and his "following the setting sun" to arrive in paradise. The centerpiece of this song cycle is "Easy L.A." with it Tupac-y vocoder chorus and sophisticated electronic hum. "Here I am / Never thought I'd be / Among the drifters and directors / A place for me / It's nothing like I thought it was after all." This album is less a lullaby and more a valentine to America's enigmatic oasis. --Lois Maffeo
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 7, 1999)
  • Original Release Date: September 7, 1999
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Interscope
  • ASIN: B00000K3W7
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #218,500 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
It's not often that you find albums without any waste, but The Folk Implosion's new disc, "One Part Lullaby," defies ordinary music. Each track here counts, both lyrically and musically.
"One Part Lullaby" is collaboration at its finest. Lou Barlow and John Davis feed beautifully off one another, with Barlow's dreamy, rich voice glancing off Davis's inventive guitar riffs. Folk Implosion invariably layers in quirky sounds, but the textures behind the music are stunningly elegant, never distracting. The percussion, whether driving or subtle, offers hypnotic catchiness.
Folk Implosion's elliptically raw lyrics, however, are what make "One Part Lullaby" burrow into one's consciousness. The story behind the songs is not always clear. Nonetheless, you invariably get the feeling that, somehow, every word of every song was transcribed out of one of your own dreams.
Our parents should all sing such powerful lullabies.
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Format: Audio CD
Though their name is rather less accurate than Jon Spencer's somewhat similarly-minded Blues Explosion, bi-coastal duo Folk Implosion clearly have something in common with the folkies of the early and mid sixties. In addition to the attitude and honesty of the lyrics, the emphasis here is on experimentation and using familiar elements to create something undeniably - much as Dylan and his compatriots transformed the American folk-song tradition into a vital and new art form. In terms of the way the music actually sounds, however, it might be better described as rock and roll fused with hip-hop. That said, this is the furthest thing imaginable from recently successful slew "rap-rock" acts (Kid Rock, Limp Bizkit, and the rest.) Those performers take advantage of the fact that rap takes the emphasis off of melody, but neglect to adopt any of its smoothly rhythmic poetry, and they revive the tired "classic" metal riffage from which Public Enemy successfully freed hip-hop back in 1989, without borrowing from the many interesting turns rock music has taken since 1977, or even the ingrained funkiness which hip-hop has inherited from decades of black dance music. Despite the sublime assortment of loping, multi-layered hip-hop beats, both live and computer-generated, as loose and innocent as Three Feet High-era De La Soul, which grace the majority of the tracks on One Part Lullaby, the rap correlation isn't all that obvious. By far the most interest in Folk Implosion comes from fans of Lou Barlow's earlier work.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
Without a doubt, this is one of my favorite albums. The Folk Implosion is a collaboration between "Sebadoh"'s lead singer Lou Barlow and the independent songwriter/experimentalist John Davis, "One Part Lullaby" being their third album together but their first on a major label (Interscope). The two artists are still faithful to their lo-fi/indie genre backgrounds, although there is certainly a "cleaner" sound (a "big record company" side-effect, but not necessarily a turn for the worst in this particular case). The outcome is a magnificent recording and true American-alternative music (read: that won't get any air play...).
Both Barlow and Davis are creative and accomplished musicians, and they clearly stand up with musical ingenuity on this album: more than fifteen instruments (from guitars, harps and xylophones through glasses of water and cookie sheets : yes they're proud of it and yes, you will be too); loops and samples of their own music; drifts from Minor to Major scales, and so on. Just the way they literally craft a song is outstanding, most tracks beginning with a few seconds in which they install the melody and background effects, just before Barlow's beautiful voice and poetry gives rise to polished jewels of songs. The album opens with the excellent "My Ritual", lyrically impressive and a great choice for an introduction, followed by "One Part Lullaby", tender, soft and highly emotional because of its powerful chorus. Then comes "Free to Go", the first single, upbeat and joyful, and which made the cut for the soundtrack of the Oscar-acclaimed 1999 movie "American Beauty", following in the footsteps of 1995's "Natural One" on the "Kids"' Soundtrack (taken from their second album "Dare to Be Surprised").
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Format: Audio CD
Well, what do you know? A mere matter of months after I was ready to write Lou Barlow off due to his lacklustre offering with "The Sebadoh", he goes and creates one of the eyar's best albums with the Folk Implosion. One Part Lullabye is in stark contrast to past offerings from barlow and partner John Davis, for a variety of reasons. First, on this outing Barlow assumes the full vocal duties, which, given his wonderful voice, was a good move (plus, Davis can focus on what he does best : instumental experiementation). It is a much more cohesive and slick production than previous effort, too: the grooves are all mid-tempo and sultry. Yes, from the opening beats of "My Ritual", you can tell that this is a new and imporved version of the Implosion. Most songs and this album are definitely in line with FI's one hit, "Natural One" (from the Kids SOundtrack). The instrumental "Surge" sounds like it could have been placed on that soundtrack. Lyrically, it is a typical Barlow show, with lots of mopey lyrics (although not as much as is found in Sebadoh). The songs seem to tell the story of Barlow's recent relocation to Los Angeles. Overall, it is a wonderful offering from these guys, one that reaches for and really deserves a lot of sales and airplay (but of course in this day of fabricated teeny-pop, they won't get it). Nevertheless, One Part Lullabye is a sweet, surreal trip for those who choose to try it.
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