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The Milk-Eyed Mender CD

4.3 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

Price: £12.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Product details

  • Audio CD (3 May 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Drag City
  • ASIN: B0001KL526
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,025 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

The Milk-eyed Mender - Joanna Newsom [CD]

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I confess that I discovered this album after hearing some of 'This Side of the Blue' on a TV advert! After humming the same few bars irritatingly for a few days it might have ended there. But then my brother made me listen to a dubious recording of 'Book of Right On' on the internet and I was hooked. These two songs alone are a good enough reason to buy this album.

For those people who like comparisons, Joanna Newsom's voice could be (very loosely) likened to Bjork, Melanie or even Janis Joplin. She has an unusual voice which can be sweet and vulnerable as a child or harsh and nasal like a hedonistic 30-a-day jazz singer.

However, the comparisons pretty much end there. How many other musicians combine quirky, vivid lyrics, with an eccentric range of musical influences and make the result even stranger by using the harp as the predominant instrument?

Joanna Newsom defies convention and convenient musical labelling.

This album is unique. There are hauntingly lovely melodies and intriguing lyrics. The harp playing is at times beautiful enough to bring tears to your eyes. Her voice changes remarkably according to the particular piece of music.

'Song' does not do justice to the result.

While I defy anyone to criticise the harp playing, not everyone will enjoy this album due to Joanna Newsom's unconventional voice, and unusual style. However, for those with an open mind this is a real treat
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Format: Audio CD
First heard Joanna Newsom on Later...with Jools Holland and she blew me away. A winning combination of highly unusual voice, unusual choice of instrument (the harp instead of the ubiquitous guitar) and unusual but highly melodic, enchanting songs, it stuck right out of the usual crowd of dour indie-boys strumming their own egos.
Certainly that voice will not win over everyone - think Bjork as a shrill six-year old on a swing, singing nursery rhymes to an audience of adoring parents - so in some ways it's a bit of a Marmite challenge: you'll either love it or hate it.
I loved it. Fans of afore mentioned Bjork, Will Oldham, Devendra Banhart etc will probably appreciate the tender soulfulness and eccentric delivery while Newsom's blend of folky earthiness and Lewis Carroll surrealism gives her the context to justify the style.
Admittedly, about two-thirds of the way through, that voice can become a little grating and you may wish she could tone it down, just a tad for a song or two.
But stick with it and you'll be rewarded with a highly bewitching, moving, joyful listen.
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Format: Audio CD
Utterly bonkers. This sounds like Bjork and Kate Bush giving Toyah Wilcox a kicking behind the bike sheds while the Penguin Cafe Orchestra look on. By no means bad but perhaps you should listen to the clips on the Amazon page to help you decide if you should acquire the taste or not. "This side of the blue" and "The book of right on" are the standouts for me but maybe that is because I was familiar with them to start with. Strange but rewarding.
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Format: Audio CD
Wow... what a refreshing thing to listen to. This album is a precious thing you will want to cherish.
I love her unique voice, and I've been heartbroken that the people I've shared it with are too stuffy to accept anything a bit different. It's so wonderful to hear a female voice with some emotion and originality! A lot of the album is just her and her harp playing, but I've never thought to imagine a harp being played in a contemporary manner like this- I couldn't attempt to identify any specific genre, but there are elements of folk, right through to jazz- whatever, you need to hear it. Forget cherubs, this is how a harp /wants/ to be played!
Please, please give this album a try, I have found it inspiring and enchanting, as I come to share more of her joy, playfulness and melancholy with each listen.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Ballad, Folklore, Non conformist style music... Quite individual, in its own genre. The simplicity and delicate style of the music really makes its special. Joanna Newsom, a Harp player seems to gather her inspiration from nature, the sea, the sky... she paints quite pretty pictures in her songs with quite simple music techniques, but with descriptive and elaborate lyrics... Most songs contain Harp, but others contain Wurlitzer electric piano, harpsichord, piano, guitar and other vocals by Noah Georgeson. Although it seems to attach itself to artists such as Bjork, it isn't as regurgitated with technical effects and mixing... What you hear is what you get! Quite an acquired taste, but those who love folk music will probably adore this gem, also lovers of Bjork would be able to understand its beauty... just I'd advise pop music lovers to stay well clear!
A little work of art for the Debut album of an upcoming, talented musician, maybe we'll see more of her in the future..
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
2004 has been a rum year for new albums (a ghost is born, The Cure, Abbatoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus, Carbon Glacier, Bubblegum, Medulla, Faded Seaside Glamour)& reissues (Dogs, A Lifetime of Temporary Relief, Dirk Wears White Sox) alike. The list is probably longer- but Joanna Newsom's 'The Milk-Eyed Mender' is possibly the highlight of 2004.
Laura Veirs' nodded to JN on her website and I was already curious, while positive-reviews and a piece in a tabloid by Dave Eggars (apparently she's related to a Californian-politician!)had me sold. Oh, Joanna is an acquired taste- I imagine some people would loathe her vocals and probably can't transmit the use of a harp in contemporary music. They're probably the kind of people that would hate a lot of my record collection, the kind of people who still don't get Robert Wyatt, who still don't understand Tilt is the greatest album of the 20th Century. Call it their problem, if you like...
Some singers near to Joanna Newsom: Laura Veirs-Hope Sandoval-Alison Shaw-Bjork- Nina Nastasia- Anne Briggs- Sandy Denny- Mary Margaret O'Hara...but really, what am I saying? No one really sounds like Joanna Newsom. Press play and Bridges and Balloons may sounda bit odd...but give it time and if you're not sold on our Joanna by the second track, specifically around "Should we go outside? Should we go outside? Should we break some bread? Are y'interested?", then take yourself back: you might be defective. (Our Joanna is as wonderful in the whole ethereal-pronouncing department- see Robert Wyatt's Little Red Robin Hit the Road, the more alien-Bjork, or Mark Hollis: she stretches and delivers familiar words in other ways, making it sound both right and wrong at the same time...
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