Search - Loudon Wainwright III :: Little Ship

Little Ship
Loudon Wainwright III
Little Ship
Genres: Folk, Pop
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #1

In 30 years of songwriting, Loudon Wainwright III has frequently mashed painful self-exploration and biting humor into the same song. The last of his "trilogy," which began with the disturbing History in 1992, Little Ship,...  more »


CD Details

All Artists: Loudon Wainwright III
Title: Little Ship
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Virgin Records Us
Original Release Date: 2/24/1998
Release Date: 2/24/1998
Genres: Folk, Pop
Styles: Traditional Folk, Contemporary Folk, Singer-Songwriters
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 724384487928, 0724384487959, 766487494243

In 30 years of songwriting, Loudon Wainwright III has frequently mashed painful self-exploration and biting humor into the same song. The last of his "trilogy," which began with the disturbing History in 1992, Little Ship, finds him confronting old age, fatherhood, war, and "broken blood vessels in the bathroom mirror." Wainwright's predominant style is confessional folk on acoustic-guitar songs like "Four Mirrors" and "OGM," in which an outgoing answering-machine message becomes a heavy relationship anxiety. The giant ship chasing Wainwright's rubber raft on the album cover received no discernible boost from the Titanic craze. --Steve Knopper

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CD Reviews

Loudon Wainwright's songwriting hits the nail on the head.
(5 out of 5 stars)

"My first listening of Little Ship was the most pleasant surprise I've had in a long time. Loudon Wainwright is the most honest songwriter I've heard. He has the depth to switch from romping fun songs as in Breakfast in Bed (about staying in bed all day making love) to the heart-on-the- sleeve ballads like OGM -- the most honest song written by a man since Jackson Browne's Rosie. Loudon Wainwright is sincere and calls it like he sees it without a hint of pretension. Little Ship is my favorite recording by which to redecorate my kitchen. It is simply an excellent output."
Death and Decay! Woo-hoo!
Blake Watson | Winnetka, CA USA | 11/15/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is a great album but it must be admitted that, as the songwriter grows older, he becomes increasingly morbid. After the raunchy, upbeat opening song, the album settles into a reflection on ghosts, doom, decay and darkness."Four Mirrors" is a reflection on how one is haunted by one's parents, long after they're gone, by the similarities they leave behind in us. The poppy "Mr. Ambivalence" about going nowhere. "OGM" about denying the obvious when a relationship has ended. "Our Own War" (not "Our Own Way" as shown in the track listing) compares the battles of a love affair to war, and points out that when the bloodshed is over, so is the relationship. "So Damn Happy" about the relief one feels when ending a relationship. You get the idea. Yet, the hardest thing about the album is that the author's usually crystal clear analysis of the situation seems a little murky.In particular, "OGM", the a capella "Underwear" and "Little Ship" are reflections on a relationship that's, essentially, over. In "OGM" the songwriter is flat-out denying it. Worse, though, "Underwear" and "Little Ship" are about the bumps in a relationship, and how the relationship is stronger after surviving them. The melancholy overtones and subtexts suggest, however, that the subject is whistling past the graveyard. The relationship is long gone, and he's trying to pretend otherwise. Not the sort of "wishful thinking" we expect from Loudon.These are not bad songs, mind you. "OGM" in particular, is one of his best, "Little Ship" is sweet and "Underwear" typically humorous. But the overall effect of the album can be depressing because it's not tempered with LW3's usual clarity. It's not surprising, then, that some of the album's highlights are on more extroverted songs, like "Primrose Hill" and relentlessly cheerful banjo tune "The World Is A Terrible Place".LW3 followed this album with the all-socially-relevant "Social Studies", which is probably as far from this as he could get."
One of the best albums I've heard in a long time.
Blake Watson | 10/15/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The fact that Loudon Wainwright is a dead ringer for my father in law did not stop me from buying this album on a whim. I had received a tip several years ago at a conference that I would be "into" this guy's music. So I picked it up on one of my music binges. Well, "into" it I am indeed. From the first song to the last I fell in love with this album and have yet to stop playing it - I bought it two weeks ago and I play it nearly every day.Because I am typically pretty critical of the music I listen to, I feel that me taking time out to write this down is an indication of how truly good this album is. I hope you'll buy it and listen to it for yourself."