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51 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AKUS back on winning form
Paper Airplane marks Alison's fourteenth album and is a storming return to form for the angelic voiced 27 Grammy Award winner and her band Union Station. The title track pretty much has the classic AKUS sound and feel to it and is currently receiving plenty of radio airplay although there are plenty of other gems to be found here. Dust Bowl Children has Dan Tyminski's...
Published on 12 April 2011 by PavlovsDog

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Clinical but uninspired
Once again Alison Krauss produces a sublime album of beautifully crafted country/bluegrass, with some of the best musicians around. However, it is much like all of the others, and leaves you feeling "well is that the new album, or is it one of the old ones", as they all sound much the same. After the refreshing collaboration with Robert Plant on Raising Sands, where she...
Published on 19 May 2011 by Cambridgekeith


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51 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AKUS back on winning form, 12 April 2011
This review is from: Paper Airplane (Audio CD)
Paper Airplane marks Alison's fourteenth album and is a storming return to form for the angelic voiced 27 Grammy Award winner and her band Union Station. The title track pretty much has the classic AKUS sound and feel to it and is currently receiving plenty of radio airplay although there are plenty of other gems to be found here. Dust Bowl Children has Dan Tyminski's drawling southern vocals on an upbeat tune if somewhat slightly depressed lyric although it makes for great foot tapping stuff. Lie Awake is a slower and darker song with velvety vocals and subtle fiddle from Alison while Lay My Burden Down comes in as a more upbeat tune with a bleak lyric hidden amongst finger picking guitar. My Love Follows You Where You Go is the real gem on this album with a complex vocal and great hook to the chorus, upbeat and tuneful with angst painted all over it. Classic AKUS. Dimming Of The Day is beautiful cover of the Richard Thompson song reminiscent of "Ghost in this house". On The Outside Looking In is Tyminski's second solo vocal here, bluegrass style aplenty. Miles To Go is an up tempo song with nice Dobro and fiddle work. Sinking Stone is another gem with a more complex vocal and composition than some of the other tunes here. Not strictly a bluegrass sound, more a country/pop tune with a late seventies sound to the vocal and melody. Bonita has Dan Tyminski sing a typical country tune with a western style theme while the final track, My Opening farewell, showcases Alison's vocal ability with smooth storytelling and a medium paced melody. Musicianship throughout the recording is as usual top notch, Jerry Douglas' Dobro sounds even better than ever. This album should see Alison Krauss add a few more Grammy's to her collection. Highly recommended!
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alison Krauss and Union Station - The gold standard for bluegrass music, 13 April 2011
By 
Red on Black - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Paper Airplane (Audio CD)
Alison Krauss is effortlessly a class act and one of the great voices of American music. Here on her 14th album and first with Union Station since 2004 she yet again shows that as a vocalist operating in the field of country and bluegrass music that she largely untouchable. You could possibly argue that following the great "Raising Sand" recorded with Robert Plant that an opportunity is missed here for some deeper experimentation which follows some of more raw explorations on that album such as the Tom Waits covers, but really who cares when the songs are this good and that voice quite as beautiful as it is? Krauss and Union Station are have been described as the gold standard for bluegrass music and on "Paper Airplane" you do sense much more of a band effort with three lead vocals undertaken by guitarist Dan Tyminski, and the cover of Peter Rowan's "Dust bowl children" in particular a fine epic of finger picking banjo/guitar and authenticity not heard since the "Oh Brother where art thou" soundtrack was safely tucked into a record sleeve. Tyminski's rustic voice again figures on the bluesy "On the outside looking in" to great effect.

However let us delay no further and get into Krauss territory. When it comes to Richard Thompson's "Dimming of the day" there is already the great original sung by folk queen Linda Thompson with her ex husbands gloriously rugged support, a stellar version by Bonnie Raitt and slightly less fabulous versions by Dave Gilmour and The Corrs. The song could have been written for an aching longing voice like Krauss's and by god does she do it justice with lovely understated country backing from Union Station. It is stunning stuff and an absolute standout. The title track has a beautiful wintry feel and Krauss voice soars on a huge chorus which tugs on your emotions while Jerry Douglas' Dobro playing shows a master in the craft. The cover of Jackson Browne's "My opening farewell" from his debut recorded in 1972, which he has sung in the past as a duet with Bonnie Raitt, is a great folk rock version of the song and when she intones that "There is a train everyday leaving either way" and "We'll soon be gone, its just as well" you feel the pain of parting. On balance the original probably retains a slight edge although Krauss should be thanked for reminding us in turn what great treasure trove can be found in the many Browne albums. Other highlights here include the gentle pair of wistful ballads of which first up is "Lay my burden down" and secondly a song which has the words "country standard" stamped all over it, namely the classic heartbreak ballad "Sinking stone" which again Krauss's voice infuses with the requisite necessary measures of warmth and latent regret. The production of "Paper Airplane" sounds as crisp and clear as a Appalachian stream and the musicianship is located firmly in the premier division (you wouldn't really expect any different). Seeing Alison Krauss live a few years back on stage with Robert Plant performing "Raising sand" and much more live was a thrill and her concert version of "Down to the river to pray" left your reviewer smitten for life. Thus while this album marks a return to more familiar territory it is an evocative collection by Krauss and a band of musicians who are by any standards bluegrass royalty.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful experience, 14 April 2011
By 
DJW13 (Exeter, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Paper Airplane (Audio CD)
Yet another highly professional performance from AKUS. Fans will know what to expect, newcomers will be amazed by the quality which exudes from the various tracks. I would of course have liked to have found more than 11 tracks (especially as there is apparently a deluxe version available in the USA with 6 bonus tracks). Also, I was disappointed that the booklet does not show the lyrics - and these are not yet available on-line from the usual sources.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What It Says On The Tin, 16 April 2011
By 
Glenn "Omaha" (Devon England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Paper Airplane (Audio CD)
The group's posing for this album cover is the most stylised feature of an otherwise simple and unaffected offering.

Paper Airplane is predictable in delivering classic soft and soothing country from Krauss' tender vocals and the immaculate instrumental support of Union Station. The album is to a degree a two-parter with songs proferred by Krauss' sweet singing, and those from Dan Tyminski's more bluegrass vocalese and barn-dance leanings. Nothing new here, and in a sense that's why we like what is performed, time and time again.

A good example of what I am characterising is the unadorned rendition of Richard Thompson's 'Dimming of the Day'. I was waiting for the AK&US hallmark harmony vocals to reference those so vital in this song's original emotive impact, but apart from the gesture of one subdued shared line, the song is a Krauss solo played straight and true and simply. Again, nothing new and nothing wrong here. It's just something I noticed and thought about.

Indeed, the only question one would ask of this perfect latest release is why isn't Alison sharing the shared stare of the others on the album's cover? That's a real poser.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb., 14 April 2011
By 
T. Walker (Bedfordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Paper Airplane (Audio CD)
That's the only word for it. There's more emotion in Alison Krauss' voice than a hundred x-factor winners. Union Station, her band, are are consumate musicians. What sort of music is it? I dunno. Bluegrass? Folk? Blues? It's all those. Krauss' wonderful soprano voice carries through with a purity I've rarely heard.
Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it, love it, love it, 9 Jun 2011
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This review is from: Paper Airplane (Audio CD)
Bought it on the strength of one track heard once on the radio and haven't stopped listening to it since. Different to Raising Sand with Robert Plant but equally as good.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can we say 'finally'?, 13 April 2011
By 
Dan Craggs (South Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Paper Airplane (Audio CD)
Over the past few years, it's become obvious to me that Alison Krauss and her band don't just make music, they understand it. That's been absolutely key to the generation of such wonderful structure in their albums and the songs on them. They know when a song needs the traditional touch or when a tune needs Douglas' dobro to smash its way through, and Alison knows when to give way to Tyminski's increasingly rich vocals.

The result is that this album, unsurprisingly, contains a veritable showcase of how music should be made. It most certainly wasn't rushed (that was quite a gap since Lonely Runs Both Ways) and despite Krauss' recent commercialisation it remains solidly grounded. The band know who to call when it comes to production values too, and the result as ever is a warm, full sound that still knows how to be subtle.

The album's eponymous track, Paper Airplane, comes right at the start and does a sterling job of setting the stage. Krauss' almost haunting chorus vocals certainly make you take note, and Robert Lee Castleman's lyrical penmanship is especially noteworthy. Immediately following, we're introduced again to a more traditional bluegrass song from Tyminski who sounds more confident than previously, and rises to the occasion in spectacular fashion when called upon, a total of three times on the record.

Not wanting to go through tracks one by one, stand-out choices for me (other than the title track) would be: My Love Follows You Where You Go, a wonderfully blended tale of heartbreak and eternal longing; On The Outside Looking In, a Tyminski rendition of a Tim O'Brien-penned story about waiting for unrequited love; and Lie Awake, an entrancingly tuned and harmonised song about indecision in a relationship - are you noticing a pattern in subject matter yet?

It almost goes without saying that instrumentally the album is spot-on, with all band members showing true versatility. Similarly, harmony vocals range from punchy to hair-raising; Krauss is lucky to have the gents along for the ride in that regard. However, there's no instrumental! No equivalent to Choctaw Hayride or Unionhouse Branch. Newcomers may appreciate this, die-hards may not. Can we forgive them this once? Probably.

What is there to say in such short order as a summary? The album more than deserves its seat next to the previous successes. Alison Krauss and Union Station never fail to produce something spectacular when they get together. Just... can we not be made to wait over half a decade until the next one?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime !, 24 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Paper Airplane (Audio CD)
Quite simply the best album ever recorded. Seriously - the best ever. The voice of an angel and the best musicians on the surface of the earth.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars quality, 17 April 2012
By 
Mr. Anthony G. Martin (uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Paper Airplane (Audio CD)
akus up to their top form full well crafted songs perfectly played and produced. didn't give it 5 stars only because i feel that the material could have been more uplifting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great album, 17 Feb 2012
This review is from: Paper Airplane (Audio CD)
This is another great album from a great team!
I love all their work and this is no disappointment.
Highly recommended.
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Paper Airplane
Paper Airplane by Alison Krauss & Union Station
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