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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-7 of 7 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
on 21 July 2011
Joanna Newsom is quite remarkable. Who would have guessed that the admittedly naive takings on The Milk-Eyed Mender would follow up with the extravagant classic YS? Since YS's release I have been in anticipation for her next record. It's been a very long wait, but I'm pleased to say Joanna Newsom does not disappoint. Have One On Me shows even greater signs of her potential!

Have one on Me is an ambitious project spanning three disks. At over 2 hours long this album demands your attention to be fully appreciated, but give this album the time it deserves as there is undoubtably some of Newsom's best work here. Suffering from health problems during recording, her voice was damaged severely. I personally think this predicament was a blessing; her voice is now soft and sweet and a real joy to hear - there is greater clarity with her poetry thanks to the floating arrangements.

There are a few songs here which I admit easily become overlooked due to the sheer scope of this album. Suprisingly her one catchy song "Good Intentions Paving Co." grates on me, and the tone seems entirely out of place. The best work in my humble opinion, is seen on the very last disk; "Autumn" and "Kingfisher" are extraordinarly beautiful. Other important standpoints for me were "In California", "Go Long" and "Have one on Me". Throughout all the meanderings this album is actually a sad one; speaking of obsessive longing and heartbreaking relationships. It's romantic but tragically so, and slightly reminiscent of the self-confessional blues of Joni Mitchell.

It's painful to say, but this album would greatly benefit from some trimmings, as the album sorrowfully suffers from long monotonous meandering. The album is overwhemingly too large for conventional listening and it will unfortunately not draw in any new fans to her music. Have one on Me won't be remembered as the classic masterpiece like YS, but frustratingly the potential was there to easily surpass YS's beautiful potency. Critically I give this album 4 stars because an album must be reviewed as a single piece of art - while this album has many gems the album is not cohesively stong across all 18 tracks. Much like Kate Bush's 2005 Aerial (A Sea of Honey) - too much content can be a mixed blessing.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 20 January 2011
It seems hard to conceive that Joanna Newsom could top the excellent `Ys' but i think she has with `Have one on me'.

This is a more approachable album than `Ys', which felt more like a statement of medieval intent. Most songs are shorter, pared down, lyrically sharper and welcoming. As ever, each song goes through multiple variations and changes in pace, tone or style, in tune with Newsom's imaginative lyrical style. This works beautifully in the opening track `Easy', lacing her maturing vocals to some lush orchestration. '81' is a gloriously poetic song set against a lilting harp. There is probably not a weak song on this album.

You soon forget the length of the album and slowly immerse yourself in its richness and charm. Newsom's songs still unfold into strange places, but her visual style is not as abstracted as in past recordings. This may be in part to most of the songs being about love, a surefire way to connect any audience. At times her wordplay even seem quite `normal', you couldn't imagine Newsom ever singing `"On a good day you can feel my love for you"' but she does and its still just as powerful. Newsom's harp is as lovely as ever, as is her piano playing. The music is more discreet, less complex but with a wider vocabulary.

As much as she may be mocked for her idiosynchratic style, songs such as `Jackrabbits' will convert any non-believers. At 2 hours long, you may need to digest it in 2 or 3 parts but try it in its entirety and you will be rewarded, a captivating album.
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on 15 March 2010
Well the lady was bound to grow up sometime. Her voice now sounds like a 14 year old singing and not a 6 year old! Joanna Newsom continued to grow lyrically and melodically. Beautiful short stories that have layers of depth and intelligence and yet have a surface veneer of simplicity. Production is clear and on headphones Joanna is right there whispering in your ear. The comparisons to early Kate Bush will still appear here and there but this is a compliment to Joanna's art. Buy this 3CD set and enjoy the craft of songwriting at it's finest
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on 20 May 2011
What a great album or three. Her voice has dropped key slightly, but still the same lovely intonation, she shows off terrific keyboard as well as harp phrases, sounding quite a lot like Kate Bush and that's a huge compliment.
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on 30 March 2010
Just like her previous album, Y's, Joanna Newsom's latest "Have one on me" is very satisfying for the easy-eared listener. It took me several plays to feel I owned it. Her creations take a while and then start growing on me to the extent that I feel I am a journey of soundscape exploration that brings new and different experience each time. Glad I am part of her fan-base.
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on 24 May 2013
This comes in a really beautiful box with three vinyl disks so it's really worth the money.

Joanna Newsom has quite a strange voice but it's so great when you get into it and she is insanely talented. Watch some of her live stuff first.
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on 29 June 2010
I first fell in love with Joanna Newsom when I heard the late John Peel playing "Inflammatory Writ" from her first official album "The Milk-Eyed Mender". What attracted me most to Newsom's music was her raw, strange and sometimes grating voice. She would squeel and scream through those early songs which seemed to breathe more life into the songs. The distorted voice encompassed her genius lyrics perfectly.
So I was a little disappointed when first listening to this album that the wonderful screeches and wails were sadly nowhere to be heard (After research I discovered that this was due to Joanna suffering from vocal cord nodules), This is a much more mellow and melancholic collection. Due to this, her songs still retain their unique 'folk-tale' texture of the previous albums, however, without her vocal quirks they do not seem to 'punch' the senses as much as "The Milk-Eyed Mender".
This is not to say that "Have one on me" does not have anything to offer - Her lyrical genius is still very much alive and thriving! Many song-writers will tell you how difficult it is to create lyrics that develop imagery and story as well as keep your listener engaged. Newsom however makes this look easy, she even goes that one step further by instilling a sense of personality and warmth to the words. The songs are for laying in the grass on a summer's eve - thoughts drifting to love or lamenting love lost.
To conclude, this is Newsom maturing. The wild, unpredictable voice has been tamed into a smooth and engaging, almost angelic sound, but a tamed beast is never as spectacular. The smooth sounds and colourful lyrics are perfect to melt away to and such a welcome change to the majority of music played today. There is no doubting that this album is both beautiful and accomplished. But I still can't help but remember why I first fell in love with her voice - the imperfections gave more than any other singer I have heard. I hope that the vocal nodules truly were the cause of this softening and it isn't down to some other 'pressure' to adapt.
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