on 21 October 2009
As I was buying his new album, I noticed there is no review of this, his finest work ! Simply a must-buy for anyone who has other recordings of his, and a good place to start for the neophyte. Idiosyncratic but catchy, bitter and sweet, sparse but oppressive, it's one of my favourite albums - strong all the way through, and very well recorded to boot !
I can't comment on the extra tracks on this re-issue, as I have the original, but good or bad (and I doubt that) consider them a gift, and buy for the basic track listing.
on 20 January 2000
...but Vic Chesnutt is actually a genius. A wheelchairbound poet of epic proportions, bringing the mundane and the vast, the sad and the hilarious, the ironic and the melodramatic, into every phrase, Vic Chesnutt needs to be heard. Songs such as Free of Hope, Gravity of the Situation and Betty Lonely are both great tunes and great pieces of lyric writing. Like all the great innovators, there are few sources of comparison for Chesnutt's unique talent. For those needing reassurance, Michael Stipe, one of Vic's big supporters, sings backing on Guilty by Association. This is a song about the relationship between Chesnutt and Stipe, although apparently the REM frontman was unaware of this when he agreed to do the backing vocal. An album full of small and great stories. Go on, buy it.
on 11 February 2012
I've bought a lot of Vic Chesnutt LPs over the years, but Is The Actor Happy? was my first, & remains my personal favourite. Back in 1995, I was an avid listener of Mark Radcliffe's excellent, much missed evening show on Radio 1 &, amidst the poetry, live sessions,outrageous conjecture & general chaos, he could always be relied upon to shoe in songs from unheard-of waifs & strays like Vic. I vividly recall hearing "Onion Soup", which I think Mark played EVERY SINGLE NIGHT for a week or 2, & rushing out to the local indie store the following morning to buy the CD. I still have it, I still play it, & I still love it. It's a tremendous record, rather bleak in places, but darkly humourous too, & I can't think of many records from 1995 that I still dig out on such a regular basis. Trust me, you'll love it...
on 8 September 2012
Its a real shame that there are not more reviews on vic chesnutts releases here on amazon
i first got into vic after hearing the excellent tribute cd SWEET RELIEF 2 which contains covers of his songs by many great artists such as REM/SPARKLEHORSE/SMASHING PUMPKINS/KRISTIN HERSH ETC. highly recommended !! actually sweet relief also got mre into Sparklehorse and Kristin Hersh in a big way also.
I went on to get his 'classic' albums west of rome, drunk and is the actor happy, which are all superb, as is Ghetto Bells
i have since bought all of vics albums including the rather hard to obtain german film soundtrack. Of his other albums I think North Star is one of his most polished and enjoyable albums