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Ledges

4.7 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (10 Feb. 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Dualtone
  • ASIN: B00HEM1PII
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 77,856 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

His latest album, 'Ledges', self-produced and recorded at Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard's Studio Litho in Seattle, represents the latest stop in a journey which began in his strictly conservative, religious home growing up, where he was strictly forbidden to listen to secular music. Instead he grew up listening to Bob Dylan's gospel albums, along with Christian artists such as Keith Green, Larry Norman and Rich Mullins. "I'm not a religious person anymore, but I've learned that spiritual energy transcends religion and that's something I've attempted to incorporate into my music," Noah explains. An impressive personal work, 'Ledges' co-mingles the sensual and the sexual with the spiritual, often using religious and biblical imagery like Leonard Cohen to plumb the depths of everyday emotions and feelings. The album explores doubt and faith, sin and redemption, mortality and transcendence in 11 songs that get underneath the skin and cut to the heart. The songs work on different levels, inspired both by a ruptured romance and a questioning of dogma in all its forms.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I first became aware of Noah Gundersen through some songs he’d recorded for ‘Sons of Anarchy’. I particularly loved ‘Day is Gone’. I tried an e.p. and got hooked immediately. I saw he was releasing his first full length album and was curious to see if he could sustain that level of quality over a whole record. The answer is a resounding ‘Yes’!

The album opens with a 5 minute song that was recorded in one take and is sung mostly acapella. It’s spellbinding, a tremendously brave decision for a debut album and a clear statement of intent. This man fears nothing. Of course, it helps when his wonderfully expressive voice is complemented by the gorgeous harmonies of his younger siblings (who also record as ‘La Wrens’ – well worth checking out too). The song is ‘Poor Man’s Son’ and includes a section of ‘Down to the River to Pray’ (a song which will be familiar to most people from its appearance on the soundtrack to ‘O Brother Where Art Thou?’) But, before you can pin Gundersen down to a particular genre, guitars crunch and drums crash and we’re into the rock territory of ‘Boathouse’, albeit rock accompanied by the soaring violin of his sister Abby.

From there, Gundersen takes on a spiritual journey through his heart of darkness, emerging triumphant at the close with fragile ballad ‘Time Moves Quickly’. It’s hard to pick out highlights because there are so many (and then they’re not actually ‘highlights’ as such, are they?!) I have been listening to this almost constantly over the last couple of days and the songs continue to grow, providing new rewards with each listen. My favourites at the moment include ‘Liberator’ and ‘Dying Now’, a song which closes in on perfection and gives it a damn good kicking.
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Format: Audio CD
If you have a penchant for great harmonies and vocal blending Seattle singer-songwriter Noah Gunderson should be a port of call. He has already three EPs to his name -- 2008's Brand New World, 2009's Saints and Liars, and 2011's Family (see other Amazon Review). However good these EPs its great at last to see his full length debut "Ledges" delivering on the early promise of great songs like "David" and "The Ocean".

Gunderson writes songs around intricate storytelling and is ably supported by his musician sister Abby who plays a mean violin. He operates in that orbit occupied by alt country troubadours like Ryan Adams, Dylan LeBlanc and Jason Isbell. He was brought up in the Christian fundamentalist tradition but has severed his links with it leading Gunderson to reflect deeply on all aspects of the human condition. He opens with the excellent a cappella of "Poor Man's son", although the ball is really kicked onto the pitch with the powerhouse "Boathouse" where in a tale of broken romance he confesses "Caroline, my heart is aching/But I can't quit this time/And Caroline, my heartless drinking/I can't quit this time" Equally good is the "Isaiah" which has a slightly nu-folk quality and highlights Gunderson's voice as an a superb instrument. Other notable songs follow like the violin driven "Separators" and the brilliant title track, probably the most commercial song on the album. A personal favourite is the heartbreak ballad "Cigarettes" the type of song a young Jackson Browne might have coined, while the duet with Abby Gunderson "Dying Now" is pure alt country gold.

If there is a minor criticism then it would be that the album ploughs a fairly strict furrow and could do with a tad more variety.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
I've really enjoyed this record. It's well crafted and well produced as a modern singer songwriter album. The vinyl is well presented in a thick sleeve and the vinyl is a clean and crisp pressing that sounds great. Music is a personal thing so go and stream it and if you enjoyed it I can reassure you and say that the quality on runs through the record from start to finish and is presented in a higher quality sleeve than most.
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Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
Every word and every melody contained within this album is pure bliss. If you have never heard of Noah, go and listen to everything he has ever played.
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Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
Sometimes words are not enough...just listen and be overwhelmed by the depth of passion, skill and beauty crafted into this stunning album.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
My album of the year so far. I heard "Ledges" on a sampler album so bought this and its gets better with every listen.
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