Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock
Griffin's follow-up to the acoustic, lyric-based material of Living with Ghosts shifts gears so dramatically, it hardly seems like the work of the same artist. In an electric wonderland of dense percussion tracks (played b... more »
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Griffin's follow-up to the acoustic, lyric-based material of Living with Ghosts shifts gears so dramatically, it hardly seems like the work of the same artist. In an electric wonderland of dense percussion tracks (played by Kenny Aronoff) and tricky guitar attacks (handled by producer Jay Joyce), Griffin reveals herself as a muscular rock & roll singer as well as an emotionally vulnerable balladeer. If the Ramones-loud title track seems to be trying too hard to rock and other cuts just sound busy, overwhelming the song with production--the chaotic rant of "Wiggley Fingers," for one--the anthemic pulse of "Tony" and the modern soul of "Christina" are gorgeous and convincing. They're the work of an imagination set free, if not fully grown. --Roy Kasten
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Member CD Reviews
Teresa S. from WINDHAM, ME
Reviewed on 12/19/2009...
An Eclectic Little Gem
Billy Herrington | Little Rock, Arkansas United States | 08/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Just got through listening to this CD all the way through on a road trip. This is the third time and it gets better with every listening. I had never heard of Patty but saw her on Austin City Limits with Buddy and Julie Miller, Dave Matthews, and Emmylou Harris. Leave it to Emmylou to find hidden diamonds and bring them to somebody's attention. Buddy's "Cruel Moon" and Julie's "Broken Things" are both strong works but of the three, "Flaming Red" is my favorite.Don't even think about buying this if you like a CD where all the songs are in the same musical style. This one gets around with a surprise behind every door - most of them very, very pleasant. Patty has a dynamic, expressive voice with a wide range. She uses it to great effect, sometimes sounding like a little girl (think a more childlike Rickie Lee Jones) and other times rocking with the best of them. I saw where some reviewers thought that the production overwhelmed that voice at times. On the first song, maybe. On the rest, impossible!Styles range all over the place and all of them work. She uses the little girl voice well in "One Big Love", a jewel of a song inviting her boyfriend on a beach romp. It's got a real island sound until you hit the chorus and then it just flat rocks. She shows a lot of insight into the cruelties teenagers inflict on each other in "Tony", a tale about a homosexual kid she ignored in high school who later takes his own life. It's back to rocking on "Change", which describes what a particular woman goes through trying to please an impossible to please man. About the time you think you have her figured out she pulls out "Goodbye". This is an uptempo ballad (a little Nancy Griffith like) that describes missing a departed loved one. It is sung extremely well and she adds an incredible vocal flourish at the end. More ballads to come, right? Not so fast. "Blue Sky" finds her in a strong rock mode again, at times evoking U2 in their most soaring moments. There are even a couple of songs that seem to be inspired by Jimi Hendrix, of all things. Then she throws another curveball with "Go Now". This song would sound right at home in a late hours jazz club but the change in style is handled just fine. The most haunting song on the CD is "Mary", an ode to the mother of Jesus that is a folk song at heart. On this one she uses the lower range of her voice and delivers a vocal that will stick in your mind forever.Through all of these stylistic changes she adds fine song writing from a variety of vantage points and through all of them she seems to come out the other side confident that she knows herself. I never got the feeling that she was just trying on styles to see if they fit - they all seem to fit. Few musicians can get away with that but she succeeds in grand fashion.I see where other reviewers who had heard her first CD (apparently more laid back and acoustic) were shocked to hear "Flaming Red". I had not heard her first CD so had nothing to compare it to. Rest assured it is on my "to buy" list. I would love to see if there is any foundation in it for what followed and look forward to hearing that voice in another setting. I saw another review that called this a "rockabilly rave up". Other than the title song I don't have a clue why.If I could only listen to 10 CDs for the rest of my life, this one and Lucinda Williams' "Car Wheels" would be on that list. Do yourself a favor and check this out. I like just about everything here. If you don't care for one song, just wait. Something is coming along that will stick in your head for a long time. Here's to you Patty. You stick it out there and go for it. You swing for the fences on this one and 99% of the time you knock it out of the park."
Better than "Living With Ghosts"
B. Eisen | The Swamps of Jersey | 11/08/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For all the reviewers who wrote that they loved "Ghosts" and hated "Flaming Red" did not give it a chance. I absolutely fell in love with "Ghosts" after hearing "Every Little Bit" on the radio. That disc has a raw beauty that probably will never be reproduced.When I first put "Red" into my CD player the first 2 songs through me for a loop. Very different with the band. If I wrote a review of that album at that time, I probably would have vented like the others and said that she sold out and what a shame, blah, blah.After a few listens, however, I found the hidden gems. The power of "Tony", the strength of her voice in "Change", the lyrics of "Mary" and "Christina". At this point (after about 1000 listens), I love every song from the power-pop "One Big Love" to the ache of "Peter Pan". People said the "production" of this album hid Patty's voice, but I disagree. "Flaming Red" showcases it and I absolutely love every note. Please buy this disc and discover the wonder, beauty, magic, power, fun and uniqueness of Patty Griffin and "Flaming Red""