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Ithaca

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

Price: £16.91 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (21 Sept. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal
  • ASIN: B003TWP5OW
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,453 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. The Hard Way
  2. Waiting On A Miracle
  3. Music In Me
  4. Elegy
  5. Come On Inside
  6. P.R.E.N.U.P.
  7. Violet Eyes
  8. Somethin' I've Gotta Say
  9. Sex
  10. 2 Lifetimes

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is Paula Cole's fifth album and it sees her return to what she does best. Gutsy pop/rock power ballads and thoughtful heartfelt lyrics. It actually reminds me of her most successful album "This Fire" which includes the hit singles "Where Have All The Cowboys Gone" and the unforgettable "I Don't Want To Wait". This comparison being very apparent on the verses of the track "Sex" which sounds like a revamped version of "Feelin' Love" and has the same theme.

Highlights on "Ithaca" are the opener "The Hard Way", a powerful pop/rock ballad with a great piano intro, "Waiting For A Miracle" and "Violet Eyes", two beautiful dreamy and well written ballads with flawless vocals from the classically trained singer. "Elegy", "Something I've Gotta Say", "Sex" and "2 Lifetimes" are also very good and offer further proof that Paula Cole is one of the best female rock singer-songwriters in the business as well as one of the most gifted vocalists.

Although the album is mostly of a very good quality, the tracks "Music In Me", "Come On Inside" and "P.R.E.N.U.P" are not as good as the rest even though they are pleasant enough. I would rate this album 4.5 stars if I could and I am already looking forward to her next musical creation.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Listening to Paula's albums is a bit like listening to snapshots of her life, though this is no bad thing as her songs always convey a certain honesty and personality as a result, so what you don't find is the usual mix of contrived schmaltz written just for the sake of churning out another song. There's none of that. This album picks up after Paula's apparently very difficult divorce, its aftermath and her continuation of life. The compositions on here are quite different to her previous albums, so it has its own distinct feel, which is also a good thing if you're bored of artists where all their albums sound the same.

There are some cracking tunes on here, and some really nice musical touches. Paula's voice is as strong as ever ranging from light and whispy to belting, and some good melodies and driving rhythms. There is perhaps something missing though. I don't find this album quite as memorable as some of her others despite some really decent tunes, like "Music in Me", "Come on Inside" and "Somethin' I've Gotta Say". I think perhaps it's because there's a fairly consistent theme permeating the songs, so sometimes it can feel like the point is being laboured a bit, and you have to be in the right mood to have a listen despite the musical quality.

Overall though, a good album from a fantastic singer/musician and worth a listen. It's more of a "grower", and having listened to it a number of times, I like it a lot more than I did at first.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album will only but please the Paula Cole fan, with touching lyrics and an incredible voice. Look forward to hearing more in the future.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8d1c60fc) out of 5 stars 26 reviews
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8d447ed0) out of 5 stars It's me who is my enemy. 30 Oct. 2010
By Jason Stein - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Back in the mid-1990's there was a strong female singer/songwriter movement in popular music with Tori Amos, Liz Phair, PJ Harvey, Sophie B. Hawkins, Fiona Apple, Tracy Bonham, Alanis Morissette, Jewel, Ani DiFranco, Joan Osborne, Sarah McLachlan, and, of course, Paula Cole.

Now, I had been exposed to Paula Cole before I actually knew who she was. I went to see Peter Gabriel on his "Us" tour in the middle of 1993, and he had a special guest--Paula Cole, before her debut album was even released. It wasn't until 1997 when "Where Have All The Cowboys Gone" that she re-entered my consciousness and set up shop permanently.

I'm sure I was like many others after the release of "Amen" in 1999, in thinking 'whatever happened to Paula Cole?' She then re-emerged in 2007 with "Courage", and I was glad, but less than satisfied with her musical direction.

Enter "Ithaca". Much in the same musical family as "Courage" with a nod to her first three albums in places. "Ithaca" is, plainly speaking, dull. I was not inspired by her arrangements, and her lyrics were not compelling. Her first three albums were compelling, setting soul baring lyrics to appropriate musical arrangements, creating a very satisfying experience. Now, we have gotten easy listening Cole. I understand she's older now, more mature, more centered, but this is not necessarily reflected in her music. Instead, I find Cole treading the same lyrical waters, just set to elevator music. I can hear "Ithaca" playing gently over a cup of coffee all over the country in the Starbucks chain. Self analysis is only interesting if you take it to interesting places musically.

The strongest song here is "Come On Inside" which echoes "I Don't Want To Wait". This song has a strong musical hook, the strongest on the entire album, followed by "Somethin' I've Gotta Say" and "The Hard Way". It seems to me Cole's ballads used to really invite you in, but here "Elegy", "Violet Eyes", "2 Lifetimes", "Waiting On A Miracle", "Sex", they're just listless, bloodless pieces.

"Ithaca" is my least favorite Paula Cole album. I went back and listened to all of her albums in sequential order, and I found that I even liked "Courage" better than "Ithaca". Still, I found a noticeable shift in the quality of her music after "Amen". The other thing I concluded is that Cole has never made a five star album. She always throws something on every album that detracts from the greatness of each of her first three albums. "Courage" and "Ithaca" are, perhaps, more cohesive, but they also lack energy, spirit, and focus.

I want more from Cole than coffeehouse music. Maybe next time.

Here's how "Ithaca" compares to Cole's previous works:

1994 Harbinger: Four Stars
1996 This Fire: Four Stars
1999 Amen: Four Stars
2007 Courage: Three and a Half Stars
2010 Ithaca: Three Stars
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8d208918) out of 5 stars Somethin I've Gotta Say.... 26 Nov. 2010
By Luke J. Hollands - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
THIS IS AMAZING. That's what I gotta say, what an album. I rekindled an old romance with this album, my romance with with Paula. I, like everyone had heard the gorgeous I Don't Wanna Wait over and over through the Dawson's Creek days, but she was and is far more than that song.
Ithaca is deep, it's etheral, organic and just a pleasure to listen to.
The standout for me is of course 'Somethin' I've Gotta Say'...it has been on repeat, I absolutely fell in love with this song after hearing only a small part on the amazon preview...also in the albums EPK, which I recommend watching, it draws you into what Paula wanted with this album. Another standout is The Hard Way, it's reaching chorus and the almost regretful feeling throughout the song is brilliant, when I listen to it it almost feels like a snapshot of what she has gone through over the last few years.
I am so glad this was reccomended to me by amazon as I hadn't thought of Paula in a while, but now I am once again an avid fan praying she will tour Australia, here's hoping.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8d20881c) out of 5 stars strong moving 22 Sept. 2010
By Andy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I like Paula Coles' early album This Fire and so have kept an eye out for new stuff. Ithaca is great. Her voice and the production push and pull in all directions, and are brave, and the songs' emotions pull us in. She covers herself, and then she bares herself, and she's sexy and angry and has joy and is returned. I only buy a half dozen albums a year, as I'm careful. This is one in which every cut is solid and, as a whole builds and wraps in pain and salvation. Amazon is selling two versions - one is an exclusive edition with a bonus song, "Second Chance" that moves the album to the next emotional stage.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8d448308) out of 5 stars Great, solid - look for Bonus version 22 Sept. 2010
By Andy - Published on Amazon.com
I wrote a full review on the CD page but here's the bottom line: she's sexy and angry and has joy and is returned. Every cut is solid and, as a whole builds and wraps in pain and salvation. Also, for now Amazon is selling two versions - one is an exclusive edition with a bonus song, "Second Chance" , a post-script that moves the album to the next emotional stage.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8d4960a8) out of 5 stars Absolutely gorgeous musik 7 Feb. 2011
By Jeffo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Paula Cole has returned to her roots of writing and singing meaningful, heartfelt music. Her hiatus was well worth the wait. You'll never hear a woman sing with so much conviction without believing that she wrote these songs out of personal experience (her pain is our pleasure). Way to go Paula!!!
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