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Invitation Songs

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (11 Feb. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Matador
  • ASIN: B000UGG36E
  • Other Editions: Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 107,105 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

BBC Review

Invitation Songs is the first outing for this Seattle based three-piece, although each of the band have previously earned their rock stripes in various post-punk bands. They've traded that all in for a rootsy, folky sound that comes across like the Kings Of Leon doing an Unplugged set, shot through with Americana and built upon a cracked and nasal keen.

Throughout the album they build a swell of tension that never quite breaks. It's a classic post-rock aesthetic of forever deferred gratification that can either be uplifting or a bit frustrating, dependent on your mood. The haunted, ominous feel to much of the album is created by clear, sparse instrumentation, filled out with wails from harmonica, muted trombone or melodica, and lead singer Quirk's imploring lyrics - half the songs start with a questioning, beckoning 'oh'. It comes together best on Helen where Quirk's voice is at its most honest and raw; it and the music attaining grandiose sweep. Where it doesn't work the sound is a bit monotonous, most obviously on the last track, Called. Similarly, the acapello opening of the monolithic New Monuments is genuinely arresting but it tails off into dirge.

The overall effect is just a little too gloomy. Music that gets you down to get you up needs something of the transcedent and frequently this album falls just short. A little more uplift from the pacier songs such as Elephant Clouds or the excellent Dancing on Our Graves, with its stomping washboard rattle, and it might have soared. As it is it just doesn't quite get off the ground. --James Young

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Bluesy, Folksey, etc etc..Shades through driving catchy pieces with timeless hooks, sublime, quieter chapters filled with poetry. I felt measures of Creedence Clearwater & numerous woodland pleasures, all chooglin along through spaces with ease.

Overall, feels pleasant, coherent & clear, with a very interesting vocal that develops rounder over the band's 3 cd releases thus far, to compete with the heavier backing as they progress to more thoroughly rockier sounds. Here on the first there's a pleasing poetic 'theyre clearly enjoying themselves' feel.

And once you play track 3, you will perhaps need to end that feud with the neighbours or buy yourself a new boom-stick persuader.

Gloriously twanging, pony canter playful pieces, i can see why people applauded their creativity.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
Such a perfect album...
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Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
excellent album
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8c65fbdc) out of 5 stars 6 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c3ac630) out of 5 stars A boot-stomping good time 6 Nov. 2007
By J. Feinberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I absolutely love this record. This is without a doubt one of my favorite releases from 2007. It is simple in arrangement yet very deep in tone, vibe, and melody. I just saw these guys live in Austin and they do a great job of reproducing the vibe live. Highly recommended!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c3ac684) out of 5 stars Spectacular 1 Jan. 2008
By D - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I discovered this album in the final moments of 2007, and in a year of great music, Invitation Songs has immediately become one of the highlights. It's thoroughly modern while being reminiscent of older folky music, and that balance, in combination with the singer's cool (but not traditionally "good") voice makes for a classic album. Every song is a winner. I can't wait to hear more from these guys.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c3acabc) out of 5 stars Yeah, I'm diggin' this so far 9 Dec. 2007
By Crumbly - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I received this CD on a recommendation last week, and I've been listening to it in heavy rotation all week. It's slightly folksy, slightly bluesy lo-fi listening that seeps into your consciousness. Definitely not for a running tape, but rather for late night after-hours, when you can turn the lights low and sip a beverage of choice.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c3ace88) out of 5 stars The Cave Singers - Invitation Songs 14 Nov. 2012
By R. Kesler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Let say what I don't like about Invitation Songs by the Seattle based Cave Singers ... right up front and foremost, the album opens sounding for all the world like Lindsey Buckingham, especially on the first three tracks [with "Dancing On Our Graves" being the most offensive, where I swear Mick Fleetwood is sitting in on percussions], and is no doubt subconsciously why so many people are going to be drawn this bit Laurel Canyon contemporary folk songs that go down easy as pre-rolled California pop.

With that out of the way, what's presented here is lushly fresh and haunting, both vocally and atmospherically, and filled with enough background texturing and surprises to hold your attention for years to come. The music is driving, yet in a slow measured cadence manner, rolling on with perfection and grace, an aspect that's missing in so much acoustic guitar based music, songs that seem to be filled with endless sloppy string chirping that I find myself more often than not, dismissing the music with a wave of my hand ... but not here.

The Cave singers have magically managed to take what sounds like vintage folk songs, songs filled with dramatic imagery, and presents them with a grainy jangling edge that lets them sound retro and new in the same breath, one where seams are pulled together so tightly it's nearly impossible not to recognize the flawlessness as much as the the songs themselves. I doubt this would be possible were it not for the band's punk and flannel backstory ... though it's here, through their love of not only roots oriented music, but in creating a chilled campfire lost in the woods atmosphere that sets the stage for this outing, an atmosphere where it all falls into place, with the Cave Singers simmering up an intoxicating blend of blues, neo-psychedelic, and experimental infused sounds that rely as much on the vocals as the instrumentation.

And in the end, its not the strumming or vocals of Fleetwood Mac that holds my attention at all, it's remembering Led Zeppelin's "Going To California" ... and that truly causes me to smile.

Review by Jenell Kesler
By A Music Fan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I first bought the No Witch CD and loved it immediately, so I then bought Invitation Songs. This one took a little longer to get into, but I'm definitely into it now. As with No Witch, they play interesting instruments and the singing is fantastic. If you want to see video of them playing songs from this album, look them up on KCRW, Morning Becomes Eclectic. They do a fabulous set from 2007, and you learn a little of their background. If you like what you see, get their CDs and spread the word. My fear is that they will disband from lack of support. I can't believe they're not that well-known (as of this date). Gotta change that.

10/15/2011 Additional Note: On NPR's website, you can listen to the Cave Singers' performance at the 2011 Newport Folk Festival. It's fabulous! Thank you, KCRW and NPR.
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