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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEAU-TI-FUL
First, let me say it straight: this has NOTHING to do with country music!! This is actually pure american folk & pop & soul music. And the best one, nothing to do with, say, Sarah McLachlan. It's actually closer to the tasty american folk & soul music of Lori Carson. True however, Tanya has left her arty edges behind for this third solo album. Nothing aesthetic here, it's...
Published on 23 Feb 2005 by Hugues Orsetti

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An earthier yet less exciting Donelly
The Throwing Muses were never commercially big still , they always had a significant , truly devoted fanbase which would follow them everywhere plus many admirers among the critics who always pointed out the strange charms of this Boston band . What made them stand out was first of all , their originallity . They just didn't sound like any other group that was around at...
Published on 26 Oct 2009 by giovanni


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEAU-TI-FUL, 23 Feb 2005
By 
Hugues Orsetti (Manosque) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Whiskey Tango Ghosts (Audio CD)
First, let me say it straight: this has NOTHING to do with country music!! This is actually pure american folk & pop & soul music. And the best one, nothing to do with, say, Sarah McLachlan. It's actually closer to the tasty american folk & soul music of Lori Carson. True however, Tanya has left her arty edges behind for this third solo album. Nothing aesthetic here, it's all about grace, harmony and rhythm, heartbeat of life. She's a mother, and she's a singing element of the circle. Her pure voice is still flying around the enchanted woods, but this is now from the real life, not artificial fairy. Life itself IS a wonder. This album is beau-ti-ful, and songs like "Golden Mean", "Story High", "Every Devil" or "Divine Sweet Divide" instant grace. Don't miss that happiness.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ethereal and sublime, 20 Oct 2006
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This review is from: Whiskey Tango Ghosts (Audio CD)
Frankly, it doesn't matter what you call this - country, jazz, indie, alt-country or whatever - the fact is that Tanya's vocals remain one of the most heart-tearing sounds you are ever likely to hear. From the very first second of this album I was reminded of the glorious early Rickie Lee Jones, and elsewhere there is the sublime fragility of Maria McKee. Everyone will have their own favourites on this album, so don't take anyone else's word for it, just go and buy it, play it when you have the time and space to listen, and just let Tanya carry you away to a better place.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An earthier yet less exciting Donelly, 26 Oct 2009
This review is from: Whiskey Tango Ghosts (Audio CD)
The Throwing Muses were never commercially big still , they always had a significant , truly devoted fanbase which would follow them everywhere plus many admirers among the critics who always pointed out the strange charms of this Boston band . What made them stand out was first of all , their originallity . They just didn't sound like any other group that was around at the time . Their songs were raw and complicated concerning obsessions and various unpleasent feelings all sung with the edgy , scary voice of Kristin Hersh .

When guitarist Tanya Donelly was given the chance to contribute to the tracklists , she displayed a more ethereal and less angry aspect of female songwritting . Not being able to release as much material as she'd like to , she left the Muses in the early 90's to form the Breeders and soon after that Belly whose first album " Star " , in spite of containing some deeply personal , dark fairytales-gone-wrong , sold an amazing million of copies in the US . All the sudden it was 4AD at the Grammies and the active music press which supported good music couldn;t have been more happy . Belly's second offering " King " had even more neurotic smiles for die-hard Donelly fans yet lacked the spooky , sweet music atmosphere of their debut . Although cd-singles " Now They'll Sleep " , " Super Connected " and " Seal My Fate " deserved a better luck in the charts , " King " just didn't give reasons to the alternative-rock audience to prefer Belly at that moment in time over other still criminally overlooked bands like the Sonic Youth or even the rest of the Throwing Muses themselfs whose " University " also released in '95 was far more direct and meatier .

Donelly's solo efforts which followed were truly exceptional . " Lovesongs For Underdogs " was powerful and gutsy , " Beauttysleep " quietly thrilling . It doesn't take more than just one listening to tell that her latest offering " Whiskey Tango Ghosts " is not a bad album as well . The quitte opposite really . It's tracklist is full of the fragments of a female heart in love , all tender and most importantly honest ( Donelly never really seemed to care about sales anyway - her official site still remains curiously unaware of the release of " ... Ghosts " ) . The only problem is that fans of her back catalogue will feel not exactly dissapointed...more like uncomfortable while listening it .

The abstract mysterious lyrics of the past about dead dogs and sugar-coated nightmares are gone , mostly replaced with a number of declarations of love concerning her husband Dean Fisher : " I Want You / I still want you / i always do / i always will " ( Fallout ) " There i said it i've done you wrong " ( Just In Case You Quit Me ) " You 're the love of my life " ( The Center ) . Musically there are no drums on most tracks , only a guitar , some piano melodies , some country touches here and there . The singer herself has recently said that " i ignored the extra parts in my head and forced myself to be quiet " . So , she turns to simplicity and again it works because she is undeniably gifted and her talents always shine especially on tracks like " The Butterfly Thing " and " My Life As A Ghost " . As a fan of her music since my teenage years though , i miss the artist who knew how to flirt so good with my dark side . It's when i listen to older tracks she has put her name on like " Pools In Eyes " or the musical twister of " Honeychain " that i feel right at home .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark, swirling and melancholy, 12 April 2007
By 
Mr. G. S. Rencourt "grantrencourt" (Portsmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Whiskey Tango Ghosts (Audio CD)
Listening to this album evokes memories of empty October evenings as the light draws in and you slip into an introspective mood. It's like being wrapped in a blanket of melancholy. That's not to do it a disservice as there are some fine songs on here, beautifully crafted but it's very much a mood album and as such I can only play it occasionally.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sentimental Mushyness At Its Best, 30 July 2004
By 
S. Smith "sitorimon" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Whiskey Tango Ghosts (Audio CD)
Well now Tanya has a child, she seems to have gone completely mellow for this new album that could actually be used for sleeping music for babies!
When I say mellow, gone are the anthems from "Lovesong For Underdogs" and gone is the pure darkness from "Beautysleep". Here we have acoustic guitar melodies embellished with pianos, bass guitars and minimalist percussion - and it works fantastically.
Tanya's voice shines as she does her fragile best to sing you to sleep with various love songs, many of them thing little country twists in them but without the country parts being too overpowering. Only on occasion does Tanya become dark with the delicious "My Life As A Ghost".
Melodic, soothing, sweet yet not sickly - I'd recommend this album to anyone who wants quieter music somedays.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesomely talented, 8 May 2011
This review is from: Whiskey Tango Ghosts (Audio CD)
Tanya Donelly continues her transition from jangly indie rocker to folksy accoustic singer with this, her first all-accoustic album. These beautiful songs are very mellow and relaxing. But there is still a bit of the old welly, notably in the penultimate track Story High, which recalls Belly's finest moments with its soaring, emotional intensity.

In general, fans of Tanya's earlier work don't have any real reason to be disappointed (I certainly wasn't). This is still recognisably Tanya. The same distinctive voice. The same inventiveness. The same extraordinary ability to capture and conjure emotions.

No track encapsulates those qualities better than my favourite one, Butterfly Thing. This is simply one of the most beautiful and emotive songs I've ever heard, about the unpredictibility of life and the need to get on with it.

At least one thing is predictible. Whatever musical direction she takes, Tanya Donelly will always impress with her awesome talent.
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3 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to lose your fan-base in 40 minutes, 7 Aug 2004
By 
A. Wylie "coolspatula" (Libya) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Whiskey Tango Ghosts (Audio CD)
First of all, let's get one thing straight. This is a country album. It's not americana, it's not alt-country or country rock or any of these meaningless terms. Let's get another thing straight. It is fine to listen to country music.
I suspect that many a Tanya Donelly/Throwing Muses/Breeders fan will be shocked and appalled that their rock chick idol has done country, but the truth is any of these artists were always influenced as much by Emmylou Harris as by Black Flag. And no doubt, they will hate this album. But if one does not close their mind to the gargantuan universe of white American soul, then there is a stunning, visceral record here to discover.
Pedal steel guitars, pianos and violins combine on Whiskey (mispelled for the Scottish market, tut tut Tanya)Tango Ghosts to create a bluesy sound straight out of Nashville crossed with very early Tom Waits balladeering.
It's not entirely cheerful, and often takes dark twists. It is not a party album either, and you have to give it your full attention. But it is well worth the effort. Actually, for one, I'm glad Tanya has chosen to drop the fake posturising and rock sensibilities.
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Whiskey Tango Ghosts
Whiskey Tango Ghosts by Tanya Donelly (Audio CD - 2004)
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