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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

TOP 100 REVIEWERon 10 August 2015
This lovely album would be worth buying if only for its second track Saint Francis, a song with superb lyrics and an irresistible tune.
Gretchen P is one of America's finest songwriters - a songwriters' songwriter, if you like, whose songs have been recorded by many other artists - and this 2012 recording is up there with her best, though it might take a couple of plays to get to you, but get to you it will.
The Matador is a sultry song with Barry Walsh's accordion complementing a gently brooding arrangement.
She duets with Rodney Crowell (who hasn't?) on Dark Angel, and their voices work well together.
The gravely sexy Paradise Found is pure sensuality: Eve beckoning to her Adam to remain in Eden, where as we all know the best fun is to be had...
This lady really has nothing to prove any more, after several albums of such beauty and brilliance to her credit. If you love her already, you'll love this, and if you have yet to listen to Gretchen Peters, this is as good as it gets.

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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 31 December 2012
I bought this album because there was a good chance that I was going to see Gretchen Peters at a festival I was attending in the summer. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see her live, but the more than adequate compensation is owning one of the best albums I've heard all year, Hello Cruel World. Right from the start, this album just oozes class, with witty, intelligent lyrics right from the off and beguiling instrumentation, all beautiful cellos and gently expressive pianos, on the excellent shuffling title track. Peters' voice is one of the strengths on the album; slightly world-weary, but a definite thing of beauty. I suppose I couldn't argue with this album being filed under "country", but it has more of a singer/songwriter character to it and much wider musical influences than most releases in that genre. If you're not a fan of country music, don't be put off - there aren't any cowboys, dying pets or hoe-downs here. However, saying that, I wouldn't listen to this album too much if life is dragging you down as there's a lot of heavy lyrical content here and much of it is based on unhappiness and dissatisfaction. There's an honesty, integrity and candour to it that I find irresistible, though. "Five Minutes" is one of the many jewels of this collection, deeply personal storytelling at its best - absolutely captivating. "Camille", a gently jazz-tinted ballad, is just as good, as is the remarkable "Idlewild" and the album closer, "Little World". Why this album is so special, why it works so very well, is the way Peters is able to draw us into her world, painting pictures with emotional observation and imagery in the way the authors of the very best books do, binding it all together with captivating, gorgeous music. Essential.
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on 27 March 2012
This is the first Gretchen Peters album that I have bought. I therefore can't say how it compares with her other works, but I love this one from start to finish. The album is slow and melancholic in the main, with only a couple of slightly more upbeat numbers. Gretchen's sublime voice is just so full of feeling that it's difficult to believe and a total pleasure to listen to. The piano playing (Gretchen's husband, Barry Walsh)stands out also - nothing complicated but a perfect accompaniment to that voice. For me the stand out number is "Five minutes", closely followed by "Saint Francis". The former song is so laden with sadness, it's difficult to describe the emptiness and lingering grief felt by the character in the song. The effects of a broken relationship still being felt 20 years on. Any complaints? Not really. The trumpet in "Camille" sounds a little out of place to me, but that's it. Tune in and chill out to a lovely album!
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on 15 October 2016
Bought after seeing Gretchen Peters live this album contains both one of my favourite Gretchen Peters songs 'Idlewilde' and my Wife's 'Five Minutes' both are brilliant songs from an amazing singer songwriter and are worth the price alone This is a very good album and one I play regularly.
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on 24 February 2016
Simply outstanding. A couple of years ago I purchased a Gretchen Peters compilation album which left me so unimpressed that I got rid of it. This, along with Blackbirds, are on another level and are two of my favourite albums of all time. Unfortunately I have not come across any others from her which, for me, achieve the same level.
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on 7 April 2013
I had the great pleasure to see Gretchen perform live in Bristol a few weeks ago before, as it turned out, a packed house. She and the other two performers, including her Husband, Barry Walsh, were extremely polished and as a result of the concert I purchased this, her latest album. I feel this is very good indeed and I strongly recommend it. All of the songs are well crafted and I would have given the album 5 stars if she had included a few more up tempo numbers. However, the lack of these did not really detract from the quality of the album.
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on 5 March 2012
Having been a fan of Gretchen Peters for many years I couldn't wait to see what Hello Cruel World would be like and I'm glad to say it is fantastic. No wonder it was on the BBC Radio 2 B playlist for 6 weeks, an honour normally given to the likes of Sir Paul McCartney or Bruce Springsteen.

From the opening bars of the title song to the closing of Little World, Gretchen Peters has surpassed herself. I'm torn between 3 songs to pick my favourite- Hello Cruel World, Five Minutes and The Matador. Last week it was between Camille, Idlewilde and Dark Angel featuring Rodney Crowell. I suppose the easiest way to put it is the WHOLE album is my favourite.

What I will say is you should buy this album, put it on repeat and let the wonders take you away. A true Masterpiece.
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VINE VOICEon 28 December 2015
That amazing womand again! Beautiful songs and voice. This is adult stuff! I wish I could write such music. In the absence of that, I revel in this woman's music and wit. Wow! She hits the note!
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on 15 December 2013
I have some of her older albums, but this is far superior in many ways. Musically and lyrically, with great production values. Check out "Saint Frances", "Matador" and her cover of Tom .Russells' "Guadalupe", Excellent.
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on 7 May 2013
I have every album this lady has graced us with, and this is the crowning glory, everytime I buy her new album I cannot believe it could get better, but it does , and Hello Cruel World has done it again, "Saint Francis" my favorite, for personal reasons, "Little World" is beautiful and "5 Minutes", is just unbeatable, boy does it make you think, as most of the songs, no "masterpieces". do.
You must buy this, if not the loser is you....
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