- Audio CD (1 Dec. 2011)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Shock
- ASIN: B003IGJ3F6
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 587,261 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Top Customer Reviews
Others have commented on how reminiscent of Joanna Newsom, Mitchel's voice is but it is quite uncanny at times. However if, like me, you find Newsom just a little too contrived (and tiring after while) do not be put off by this comparison. This album, although 'experimental' - is not 'mental'.
Lovely quirky songs that are not difficult. It is not something that needs a few listens to get into and works from the off but crucially is intricate and detailed enough to benefit from further listening. I find one or two pieces of music every 12 months that are worth a review (interestingly Bon Iver, Emma being another recent one) and this is probably this years.
Only 4 reviews suggests few buyers which is a shame - deserves to be more widely heard.
So who is in the cast list of this vast folk opera? Ladies and Gentleman we have -
Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) as Orpheus
Greg Brown as Hades,
Ben Knox Miller (The Low Anthem) as Hermes,
Ani DiFranco as Persephone,
Anais Mitchell herself in the role of Eurydice
Unsurprisingly each shines brightly particularly Greg Brown who brings a Tom Waits like granite quality to the album and overall it is a mighty collaboration from a range of musicians who are at the top of their game. Highlights on a very long album include the sparkling opener "Wedding song" a duet between Mitchell and Vernon which is just beautiful and very accessible. Mitchell's voice clearly will lead to some comparisons with Joanna Newsom but is has its distinctive edge and the standard of her song writing throughout is first class.Read more ›
Enlisting a fantastic cast of distinctive voices has certainly made a difference, and it also helps that Ms Mitchell, when she applies her own voice, does so with touching grace and delicacy, and does so on songs that suit her vocal style. Everyone else gets their moments, as well, especially Ani DiFranco, who channels Mae West in "Our Lady of the Underground". There's also the stirring call-and-response of "Why We Build the Wall" with Greg Brown's growling voice lending a beautiful gravitas, the Haden Triplets' breathtaking harmonies on all their songs and even some gorgeous Brian Wilson-like "la la la"s (to use a technical term) make an appearance. This album is chock full of glorious moments, so many that it's almost impossible, actually, to pick them out. By the time the album fades out with the sad, resigned and heartbreaking "I Raise My Cup to Him" I was almost in tears.
It's thrilling to find an album that draws on so many styles and influences and yet still manages to come up with something this fresh, this beautiful and this soulful.Read more ›
I read many of the reviews but decided a folk-opera based on Greek myths didn't sound like my kind of thing. Further, I don't really like Mitchell's squeaky Kate Bush-like voice.
I was very wrong.
This album is unlike anything I've heard before: you can't say to someone 'if you like so-and-so, you'll like this'. It is the albums very originality that is breathtaking. That said, there are echoes of Tom Waits, Dr John, Bon Iver, Joanna Newsom, Randy Newman and Bertold Brecht.
The songs are fabulous and gloriously arranged - some you feel you've known all your life.
In 'Why We Build The Wall' the album has the best song I've heard since.........? - a parable of ancient myth and modern political statement.
In all the album is a miracle, an utter joy which I feel would have a large public if only people got to hear it.
Give it a chance
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really really like most of this - its a concept album and high art with some amazing arrangements - I listen to a lot of stuff through the day when pottering about the house ,and... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Jon A. Crowcroft
A fantastic album, which I will be buying again for friends of mine. Why we build the wall is powerful and so current.Published 20 months ago by Monko
all of the products met with my full approval, and were diliverd on time good service many thanksPublished on 1 Feb. 2015 by anthony pountain
Heard the Wall sung by the composer was surprised on receiving the CD to find it sung by someone else.Published on 28 Dec. 2014 by F. Lerner
Beautifully structured rendition of the Persephone story as she is seduced to live with Orpheus. Wonderful singing.Published on 13 Dec. 2014 by Tess
I've listened to this album nearly every day for the past 6 weeks. It's become a bit of an obsession. Read morePublished on 25 Nov. 2014 by A Customer