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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You like Dolly singing traditional country? Buy this now !!!, 24 Sep 2002
By 
Peter Durward Harris "Pete the music fan" (Leicester England) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Infamous Angel (Audio CD)
For those unfamiliar with Iris DeMent, she is a traditional country singer with the kind of twangy voice you either love or hate, but very distinctive.
Iris sings about the things country singers are expected to sing about - the family, relationships, the countryside and religion. She has her own unique style and sound, but at times she reminds me of a young Dolly Parton.
When country albums are released in the UK, they usually go out of print after a couple of years at the most. This one is still in print (at full price) in both the UK and the USA more than ten years after initial release, proving that there is still a steady demand for this high-quality album.
If you like traditional country at it's best, with no compromises to commercialism, this is for you. You won't find a better traditional country album.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique, very special, and very beautiful, 5 Sep 2004
By 
Peter Reeve (Thousand Oaks, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Infamous Angel (Audio CD)
I first heard Iris DeMent on British television on the "Transatlantic Sessions" and was overwhelmed by the unaffected lyrical beauty of her performance. Emmylou Harris was also featured on those sessions and she joins Iris on a track of this CD. All three of Iris's solo albums are worth having but this, her first, is undoubtedly her best. If you like Joni Mitchell, Buffy Sainte-Marie and other female singer/songwriters in the folk/country/protest tradition, then you really must hear Iris DeMent, for she is the greatest of them all. The first track on this album, "Let the Mystery Be", deserves classic status and the CD is worth buying just for that song. I could have done without the final track, which is Iris's mother in a performance that I would have thought only a daughter could enjoy (although I note some other reviewers liked it). Still, that leaves 10 tracks of great songs from this unique and very special voice.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars totally original voice, 20 May 2005
By 
lindalove (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Infamous Angel (Audio CD)
I own many alt-country/country/bluegrass type albums - but this is absolutely without a doubt one of the best. There is not one dud song on it, but if I had to name a standout it would probably be Our Town - although I also have a big thing about Hotter Than Mojave in My Heart. Hard to say who she sounds like as her voice is so original - her voice sounds both amazingly vulnerable but at times also incredibly joyous. Once you have listened to an album like this you will never again think the likes of Coldplay are anything other than totally average.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Assured Country/Folk, 30 Nov 2001
This review is from: Infamous Angel (Audio CD)
I first came across Iris Dement's "Our Town" on Sky which used to show the Country Music Channel (sadly missed). Always makes me think of my home town - Bulwell, Nottingham. The stand out tracks are "Let the Mystery Be", "Our Town" and "Infamous Angel". All the tracks are good. This rates as the best of country albums, like those by Cash, Hank, Cline etc. Such philosophy: "Some say once gone you're gone forever, And some say you're gonna come back, Some say you rest in the arms of the Savior, If in sinful ways you lack, Some say that they're comin' back in a garden, Bunch of carrots and little sweet peas, I think I'll just let the mystery be".
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars infamous angel, 13 April 2010
By 
Mrs. Paula M. Coogan "Coogie" (Northumberland UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Infamous Angel (Audio CD)
First heard Iris DeMent last night on Radio Two while travelling back to base in my ambulance;I was really knocked over by "Our Town" and wanted more; ther haunting vocals and beat remind me of the Canadian trio, the "Be Good Tanyas". EXCELLENT..from Dave "Coogie", Northumberland UK
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your heart may become addicted To Iris DeMents music., 29 Jun 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Infamous Angel (Audio CD)
I think you either love Iris DeMent or you hate her. But if you want to hear one of the best songs in country music sung by one of the most unique voices its here, "Our Town" I've listened to it dozens of times and its as fresh and touches me as much as the first time I ever heard it. The rest of the album is beautiful and will never be far from your heart.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Iris Dement will touch your heart., 8 April 2006
By 
**** (Pleasant Hill, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Infamous Angel (Audio CD)
When I first got this CD about a decade ago I treated it as a bit of a guilty pleasure. A short time later, Iris Dement performed in a church in Berkeley, and I came up ticketless when the show sold out within 24 hours. Then I understood the universal appeal of Iris Dement. She has a simply unique voice, absolutely without artifice, that's somewhat reminiscent of the high lonesome sound of Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Hank Williams, or Kitty Wells. She's a wonderful songwriter whose songs speak of the human condition: love, death, redemption, foregiveness, family. "Let the Mystery Be" has sweet lyrics and an infectious melody, but the subject is no less serious than the meaning of life itself. "Our Town", a nostalgic glimpse of the past, acknowledges that "nothing good ever lasts". "After You're Gone", which she wrote when her father was very ill, can move anyone to tears who has lost a loved one. The title track, "Infamous Angel", deals with home; where you're always welcome to return, even if you have strayed. Ten years passed, and I had to get on a plane and fly to Los Angeles to hear Iris Dement perform at the Getty Center, once again a sold out performance. I've listened to this CD hundreds of times in the past 10 years and still love it. No longer a guilty pleasure, I recommend Iris Dement to everyone.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Infamous Angel, 29 April 2004
By 
D. B. Syme "BK 207" (Glasgow) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Infamous Angel (Audio CD)
This is the best Country album I have bought. If you like original countrysung from the heart then you cannot fail to like this album. I heard IrisDeMent's 'Our Town' on Radio 2 while driving to work and had to pull overto write down the name of the album. I bought the album from Amazon nextday. For the first time in my life I have found an album where every trackis suberb. If I was to remix a CD I could not omit a single track fromInfamous Angel. Put it on a surround sound system, dim the lights, closeyour eyes and appreciate. Trust me!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic first album, 9 Dec 2007
This review is from: Infamous Angel (Audio CD)
I first came across Iris Dement when I heard Kate Rusby's version of "Our Town". Being an anorak and the owner of a reference book on folk music, I read about her and learnt that John Prine (one of my favourite folk/country singers) was a fan (he writes a few nice liner notes recommending her), so how could I go wrong?

This is a marvellous collection of country songs sung in an original and unforgettable voice. They all sound like small town stories which could be called quaint, but are sharply observed and beautifully told.

Favourite tracks, I hear you ask.... there are 11 songs on this album, so pick your own favourite - they are all as good as each other. You hear every word, every instrument and everything is right in the world for the 39 minutes it takes for you to listen to the album - ahhh bliss.

This was her first album, so if it is the first album you buy of Iris, buy the others in the order they were recorded. They get more serious, with a harder edge and with, I suppose, less innocence, but they show just what a great songwriter and singer she is.

She is simply fantastic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Infamous talent., 7 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Infamous Angel (Audio CD)
Excellent early CD from a very unique and tallented singer. Iris's voice is unique but natural; unlike the excess of forced, un- natural American country singers we have, unfortunately, come to expect. Very enjoyable, heart felt songs from her roots. A unique quality artist. Very good value CD.
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Infamous Angel by Iris DeMent (Audio CD - 1993)
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