- Audio CD (26 May 2014)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Jagjaguwar
- ASIN: B00INXSJ22
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,634 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Are We There
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Are We There
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For all the attention that was paid to her 2012 breakthrough ‘Tramp’, Sharon Van Etten is an artist with a hunger to turn another corner and to delve deeper, writing from a place of honesty and vulnerability to create a bond with the listener that few contemporary musicians can match. Compelled by a restless spirit, Van Etten is continuously challenging herself. Now, the result is ‘Are We There’, a self-produced album of exceptional intimacy, sublime generosity, and immense breadth.
For this album, Van Etten found a kindred spirit in veteran music producer Stewart Lerman. Originally working together on ‘Boardwalk Empire’, they gently moved into new roles, rallying around the idea of making a record together in Lerman’s studio in New Jersey. Lerman’s studio expertise gave Van Etten the freedom to make ‘Are We There’ the way she imagined. Van Etten also enlisted the individual talents of her band, consisting of Heather Woods Broderick, Doug Keith and Zeke Hutchins and brought in friends Dave Hartley and Adam Granduciel from The War On Drugs, Jonathan Meiberg (Shearwater), Jana Hunter (Lower Dens), Peter Broderick, Mackenzie Scott (Torres), Stuart Bogie, Jacob C Morris and Mickey Freeze.
It is clear from the opening chords in the first song ‘Afraid Of Nothing’ that we are witnessing a new awareness, a sign of Van Etten in full stride, writing, producing and performing from a place that seems almost mythical, were it not so touchable and real. Always direct, and never shying away even from the most personally painful narratives, Van Ettten’s songwriting continues to evolve. Many of the songs deal with seemingly impossible decisions, anticipation, and then resolution. She sings of the nature of desire, memory, of being lost, emptiness, of promises and loyalty, fear and change, of healing and the true self, violence and sanctuary, waiting, of silence.
“Her voice is breathtaking throughout the record, altering to inhabit every emotional extreme.” - Uncut (9/10), “She seems to set her voice no boundaries” - Mojo (4 stars), “Van Etten goes several layers deeper, and faster, than most songwriters. ‘Are We There’ is the kind of album that many people have been trying to make for years and only a dozen or so have pulled off; words, voice, and heartbreak.” - The New Yorker.
Top Customer Reviews
The fireworks, which follow, are not as explosive but there is great music to be discovered. The gentle ballad "Our Love" is almost sweet by comparison, yet even here she confesses that "I'm reliving my own hell / someone throws the ladder down / Still don't know what I have found in our love.Read more ›
“Afraid of Nothing” acts as the perfect slow burner to begin Are We There, the simplicity of sauntering piano and guitar allowing Van Etten’s vocals to revel in the emptiness of it all. Her vocals soon become ethereal, a languid 6/4 groove patiently leads the song to a humble close, the album suitably introduced. It’s a sound we’ve come to love and associate with Van Etten, and it’s one that is quickly forgotten on her single “Taking Chances”.
Methodical drum machines, distant humming synth and faraway guitar pave the way for some of Etten’s most memorable melodies, the chorus injected with a beguiling indie charm. It’s a real departure from what we’re used to, yet it’s still intrinsically everything Etten has ever been, just in a different wrapper. Surprisingly though, it’s the only song of its kind on the record, the remaining forty-minutes of the album following on from where “Afraid of Nothing” left off. Whilst those forty-minutes take us back into a world only Etten could create, there’s still a distant melody floating above the clouds, one that lingers in the air, begging to be heard once more.Read more ›
The whole album is a bit of real class, I think, and has the lasting quality of beauty built on noble bones. Red on Black has already written an excellent review here and has said much of what I was going to say, so I won't bang on needlessly. I suggest you rear RoB's review, listen to a few samples and snap this up. It is something quite special.
piano does provide much of the foundation.
An intellegent album where the songs are catchy but not in the poppy way which sounds odd but part way through them,they seemed to click & i felt i almost new the melody.
More quality material,more please!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the albums of 2014 it's true, but that year and 2015 were the best for many years with Sleaford Mods' Divide and Exit, John Grant's Grey Tickles Black Pressure, Courtney... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Simon Turner
excellent work, I'm going to find everything she has ever recorded ☺Published 14 months ago by enzomemmo
A bit like KD Laing with angst and a dark side - strong stormy songs just the right side of tuneful. Her voice has that deep moody sound and is not fey or girly. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Amazon Customer
Worth buying just for the feel. There are 3-4 really moving and outstanding tracks and a couple I tend to skip, but the album really works as a whole.Published 20 months ago by David Everitt
This album just gets better with each listen. I went too see sharon van etten live, equally as good the only minus was she didn't do..
I know. Read more