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Hello Cruel World
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Hello Cruel World

29 Jan. 2012 | Format: MP3

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 29 Jan. 2012
  • Release Date: 29 Jan. 2012
  • Label: Proper Records
  • Copyright: 2012 Proper Records Ltd
  • Total Length: 52:10
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B006XIPG2U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,492 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By The Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 31 Jan. 2012
Format: Audio CD
My last encounter with Gretchen Peter's was with her 2009 recording with Tom
Russell 'One To The Heart, One To The Head', a delectable listening experience.
'Hello Cruel World' finds her alone again and on very fine form. Ms Peters
has the kind of world-weary voice which manages to combine both warmth and
pathos in equal measure. There are eleven new songs in the set some of which
stand among the best in her esteemed career. The album has an overall ambience
of melancholy and even when things get a tad more raucous, as they do on
'Woman On The Wheel', her predilection for minor keys never becomes morose.

There are some truly beautiful compositions on offer here. The tender 'Saint
Francis', co-written with Mr Russell, sports some gloriously restrained harmonies;
'Camille', delivers some jazzy late-night trumpet and painfully poignant lyrics ;
'Idlewild', a song which touches on both deeply personal and universal themes
and final track 'Little World', performed with heartrendingly focussed reverence.
The sublime 'Five Minutes', however, gets my vote for top track; the bruised candour
of its imagery and plaintive melody makes the very air stand still around it.

'Hello Cruel World' is yet another unimpeachable addition to Ms Peter's fine body of work.

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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Just prior to Christmas 2011, Bob Harris played a track from this new album by Gretchen Peters. I was struck by that track enough to look for the album, but had to wait until the end of Jan for it to be released. However that wait was well worthwhile. On the first few listens, I was a little unsure about the last four tracks, which are very much downbeat, but repeated listening to the lyrics has lifted them in my estimations. The overall package is simply superb. Gretchen Peters as it turns out is an accomplished songwriter. Her lyrics are intelligent and thought provoking and on a par with any of today's great songwriters such as Tom Russell or Mary Gauthier. The first seven tracks are just simply stunning, and as I have already indicated the last four are good but take a few listens to get under your skin. For me however the second song, Saint Francis (Co-written with Tom Russell) is the albums centre piece both lyrically and musically. Two of the songs had me thinking about where I had heard a similar melody and after a few listens they came to me. Song No5 puts me in mind of Ode To Billy-Jo and song No 6 is similar to one written by a local N Ireland singer songwriter by the name of Junior Johnston (The title escapes me at the moment).

I can only urge you to get your hands on this superb album. One reviewer has stated that this album is essential and I do have to agree with them. If your tastes are along the line of Kathy Mattea, Mary Chapin Carpenter or even Rosanne Cash I suspect you will like Gretchen Peters. Musically this is a folk / rock mix with a slight touch of country thrown in. She is touring Ireland in March of this year and I would suspect GB would be included. I have already got a ticket to go see her in Belfast. Another reviewer has indicated that she is great live, so I am looking forward to that.
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Format: Audio CD
If mature self-reflection and classic American confession is to your taste, then this is an album of both, augmented by cover-to-cover musical confidence.

I had the pleasure of seeing Gretchen Peters playing live a few years ago and she is simply a great artist. This album is distinguished by the intelligence of the lyrics and the assured strength of Peters' vocal. On playing this recently the performances had a power to make me concentrate and hear rather than just listen. I hope that deceptively pat line carries the true weight of its simple but heartfelt message.

'The Matador' is heated in its storytelling with the haunting accordion and metaphor or real killing; 'Dark Angel' is enhanced with the accompaniment of Rodney Crowell and the hardly original but convincing oxymoron of the lyric 'and if there's no hereafter/oh and there is only here/life is still a beautiful disaster', and the Bobby Gentryesque string-infused southern blues of 'Paradise Found' is as sultry as a swamp. This album is highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
It's possibly become a cliche to say that someone is at the height of their powers, but in this case it's entirely appropriate. Hello Cruel World is Gretchen Peter's masterpiece. It's introspective and deep, but balanced by beautiful imagery and stunning melodies.
I hesitate to pick a stand out track, because the whole album is superb. But Idlewild had the most amazing effect on me, on the first play of the album. I'm almost embarrassed to say that I had to fight back the tears. It's an incredibly powerful song that takes us from Gretchen as a girl in a car in a mixed up family, to the assassination of JFK, and to a swipe at American life. And its all done over a haunting melody that casts a strong emotional pull - simply an amazing song.
One of Gretchen's most famous songs is On A Bus To St Cloud. That's so powerful because of the images created as we imagine the bus trip, and with Hello Cruel World that's present in each of the eleven songs. Even when you think you've got a softer song in the last track - Little World - she throws in a lyrical surprise "two spoons in a kitchen drawer, two shadows move behind a darkened door, only a fool would wish for more"
I now have that lovely feeling you get, when you have an album that you will love forever.
Five stars of course - and the only negative is technical. Some of the tracks could have done with a closer microphone, and a slight backing off in the mix of the instruments. But even that can't spoil what is a perfect album.
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