Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The Ugly One With The Jewels And Other Stories
Genres: Alternative Rock, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
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Speaking in a Jeweled Tongue
Lunatic Muse | El Paso, TX | 04/15/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In 1994, Laurie Anderson published a book entitled "Stories from the Nerve Bible", which took into account her 20 years as a performance artist. Her spoken word CD, "The Ugly One With The Jewels", was released one year later and documents a minimalist reading/concert she gave at Sandler's Wells Theater in London. Though this album is a pleasant excursion into the witty and intelligent mind of one of America's most brilliantly creative iconoclasts, it by no means comes as a surprise; all of her previous work has, at some juncture, included similar spoken word pieces designed to reinforce the musical accompaniment. Admittedly autobiographical in nature, the 18 selections on "Jewels" are rich in detail, humor and emotional depth without becoming cloying. Anderson's voice is more expressive than it has been in the past, and helps unite the pieces with the wonderful conversational demeanor of someone you've known for a long time, but haven't seen in a while. The stories themselves are varied and incisive, and specific scenes from the narrative stay with the listener long after the story is told: an African Chief sits on his throne clicking off pictures on his disposable camera without advancing the film in "Word Of Mouth"; a ouija board dissects Anderson's previous reincarnations as "a hat" and "hundreds of rabbis" in "The Ouija Board"; Andy Kaufman acts out a death scenario in "The Rotowhirl". Musical accompaniment to these verbal snapshots is created and minimized by Anderson herself and works to support the mood and texture of specific narratives in question. The one drawback seems to be Anderson's insistence on recycling previously released material over and over again. Her first album, "Big Science", was built on material from her "United States Live" box set, "Home of the Brave" utilized songs from "Mr. Heartbreak" and "The Ugly One With The Jewels" revisits a few songs from her last studio album, "Bright Red". These tend to break the continuity of the spoken material, almost like a loud noise disrupts one's concentration. Even so, this is still a fine listen and one that allows both neophites and those who have followed her career a limited access into the experiences that have influenced her art. Personal Favorites: the clash between two cultures in "Word Of Mouth"; the hauntingly spooky "The Ouija Board" and the airplane hitchhike to the North Pole accounted in "The Geographic North Pole"."
M. Hilton | Indianapolis, IN United States | 09/21/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw Laurie Anderson in Indianapolis on her Nerve Bible tour, and this CD is a wonderful souvenir thereof. It bears comparison to her magnum opus, United States Live, not only in similarity but also in quality. Whereas USL captures the flavor of the mid-80's, however, this CD captures the Desert Storm era, undoing any notions I might have had that her art was becoming dated. Of its time, yes. For its time alone, no.This is one of those albums I simply have to hear every so often, even years after first buying it. It has become part of the soundtrack of my life, stirring my senses of wonder and adventure.For those not familiar with Ms. Anderson's sound, it's all here, and in an even purer form than her "musical" releases: crackling dry wit, eerie atmospheric electronics and narratives of Poe-like perfection."
A date with Laurie
D. W WISELY | Birmingham, AL USA | 11/03/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had been familiar with Laurie's work for many years and owned a couple of her earlier records. About 3 years ago, I had to make a two-day car trip by myself across the Southern U.S. I was not getting into any of the CDs I brought for the trip. So, I stop in a shopping mall in Tupelo, Mississippi and, operating on instinct, I bought The Ugly One With The Jewels. I listened to it three times through on that trip and I rarely let more than a few weeks pass without playing the thing again, 3 years later. Laurie doesn't sing much here, focusing instead on her storytelling, spoken language/poetry, with highly effective background electronic textures. It's a stunning CD, funny as a matter of routine, and then suddenly moving and evocative. I still shutter everytime I hear "White Lily."With tongue in cheek I label this little review "a date with Laurie." This is because, with this CD, you get to know the enigmatic Ms. Anderson a bit, and you find her to be a load of fun. Can't wait 'til the next one...."