Of course we can't review a folk album without looking extensively at the lyrical content. The lyrics, while not disappointing at all, are perhaps the weakest point of an otherwise perfect and daring album. Songs like '81
, a song I interpreted to be a play on the subject of man destroying nature, do accomplish what they achieve but they seem to do only that. I felt like the lyrics never went as far as Newsom could've taken it. They lacked imagery, personality, and with Newsom's voice and instrumental compisition I really felt like she could've taken truly brilliant lyrics to a new plane. In my opinion she lacks the poetic finese of her folk sister, Regina Spektor (an inevitable comparison). It's not all negative however. Jackrabbits
and Soft As Chalk
are two songs whose lyrical content is breathtaking but on a 2 hour album that just doesn't mean much.
Oh yeah you read right. 2 hours. Continuing the pattern of breaking from the common mold Ms. Newsom packs her latest release with 124 minutes of pure hipster goodness. The risk pays off however because if you find yourself enjoying one track you'll want to squeeze every bit of goodness out of the other 17. Newsom never lets you down through the entire album keeping things fresh and interesting for the folk fan.
Overall, I would declare the album an ambitious triumph. It might not be for everyone but it surely doesn't let down it's audience. Newsom's voice is hypnotic and her compisition is a perfect example of how to keep the acoustic sound interesting and fresh without being ridiculous or pretentious. I would highly recommend Joanna Newsom's Have One On Me
to anyone with a taste for beautiful acoustic folk or anyone with an open mind looking for something new.
Personal favorite tracks: Soft As Chalk
, Have One On Me
, '81 Summary for lazy people:
Great if you're into folk. Maybe not for others.
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