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A River Ain't Too Much to Love [VINYL]

4.4 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Vinyl
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Drag City
  • ASIN: B0041KIR8M
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I first heard "Rock Bottom Riser" by pure chance and came to the immediate conclusion that if the album was in anyway consistent, it would be well worth a listen. In truth, I haven't been remotely disappointed. Smog is Leonard Cohen on smarties; or perhaps Fairport Convention in a thunderstorm; it lies somewhere between the two. If you enjoy folk-rock and the utter simplicity of plucked acoustic guitar and well-measured, uncluttered vocals, this is a fine draft, well worth the savouring.
An excellent addition to any highly selective collection.
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Format: Audio CD
I had heard very little Smog prior to picking up this album: a few tunes off Dongs of Sevotion, but not a lot else. And becasue of that the first listen came as a shock. Very slow, very deep-voiced, very abstract... Not normally my bag at all. But I listened again. And again. And agai... well, you get the picture.
Maybe it's just me, but I continue to find this album a contemplative and meditative joy. Every song (with the exception of the tonal departure of Mother of the World) is beautiful, poderous and measured. Every song contains a thought worthy of thinking and thinking further. The album gives and gives, gently and teasingly, perhaps like the rivers that haunt and inhabit almost every song.
'Let me see the colts that will run next year. Show them to a gambling man thinking of the future.' A simple couplet that slow smoulders with the gentle folly of man. And the album is packed with that kind of subtlety. Maybe not for all people, and maybe a departure from the previous Smog catalogue, but, for me, the album is like a journey home through sunless green countryside. Beautiful and sad.
Lastly I'll mention the 'In The Pines' cover. It couldn't be further from Kurt Cobain's harrowed interpretation (which I love), but it couldn't be better for it. Smog's version is the one I find myself singing these days. Maybe it's another reminder that I'm crawling up the ladder of my 30s...?
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Format: Audio CD
Smog have delivered a quality album yet again. This is a very sparse & deep album compared to the wonderful "Supper" from a couple of years ago but by no way is it lacking in any shape or form. Track 3 "the well" is the pick of the album which tells a hell of a story, other great tracks are Say Valley Maker, In the pines & rock bottom riser though I don't think there is a bad track on the album. Some people I know find smog too heavy for them but I find it enchanting, his voice & his lyrics are something that nobody else can quite match. If you get chance go and see him live, I have seen him three times with the most recent being the Manchester Roadhouse which he belted out most of this album along with a few old classics the audience was dumbstuck. He was that good. As you can tell I cannot recommend this & his previous album enough. Warning SMOG will make your life that little bit more enjoyable.
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Format: Audio CD
For those of you lucky enough to have been intigrated in the world of Bill Callahan this album is an absolute necessity. A calmer sound than on previous recording but no less inspiring, haunting and beautiful- his acoustic guitar is his companion on this particular journey.
One of the few artists/songwriters who can effortlessly make all my hair on my arms stand to attention with the simplest of melodies and the sparsenss of his deep voice.
Excellent!
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Format: Audio CD
Togheter with "Knock Knock", "Dongs Of Sevotion", "Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle"
and "Apocalypse" this is Bill Callahan's finest album.

Compared to some of his earlier work there is a real gentle tone to a lot of the songs,
and as always he comes up with those single lines that are strangely moving, like the
part in "Rock Bottom Riser" where he goes: "I saw a gold ring at the bottom of the river..."
He is one of very few artists who is capable of saying a lot with few words, and he has
that deep baritone, somewhere between talking and singing, that nails down the lyrics.

As everything else I write on Amazon, this is a simple recommendation, not a review,
and as the stars go, I sometimes find it difficult to decide on four or five stars. Strictly
speaking the full five stars ought to be reserved for the near faultless albums, where
the quality never drops, but on some albums the highlights carry so much weight that it feels
natural to give it 5 stars, even if the standard drops a little on a few songs.

Say Valley Maker, The Well, Rock Bottom Riser, Drinking At The Dam and Let Me See The
Colts are all GREAT songs, and the rest isn't too far behind.
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Format: Audio CD
I think this is Smog's best album. Each song is a classic. I've been listening to it for years and still love it.
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