Search - Patty Griffin :: Impossible Dream

Impossible Dream
Patty Griffin
Impossible Dream
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1

Patty Griffin's considerable promise is fully realized on Impossible Dream, her fourth studio album. Dixie Chicks fans who loved the trio's cover of Griffin's "Top of the World" will find the blueprint take here, but it's ...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Patty Griffin
Title: Impossible Dream
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: ATO Records
Release Date: 4/20/2004
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock
Styles: Contemporary Folk, Singer-Songwriters
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 880882152024, 0805520030236

Patty Griffin's considerable promise is fully realized on Impossible Dream, her fourth studio album. Dixie Chicks fans who loved the trio's cover of Griffin's "Top of the World" will find the blueprint take here, but it's just one of several standouts. "Useless Desires" and "Don't Come Easy" show Griffin in her prime as a heartfelt folk-rock singer-songwriter, while "Love Throws a Line" and "Standing" offer intriguing bluesy/gospel counterpoints. "Kite" nearly floats away on a subtle piano breeze that personifies its mood of Sunday-afternoon solitude. The zenith is "Mother of God", an emotionally wrenching seven-minute masterpiece that begins as a heavy-hearted rumination before transforming midway into an abstract refraction of pure musical radiance and lyrical reassurance, like the cocoon setting loose its beautiful butterfly. --Peter Blackstock

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CD Reviews

Blew Out the Light in My Soul...
Florestan | Chicago, IL | 09/20/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Patty Griffin proves once again that she is a songwriter of formidable powers. I'm a big boy, but freely admit that I wept openly after after first hearing "Forgiveness" off her first album. This album is revelatory in another respect. Anyone who thinks of Patty as a songwriter first and a singer second should pop this CD into their stereo and repent. Her voice is soothing where it suits the song, and a tactical weapon of cataclysmic proportions at all other times.

The premise of such a large voice bellowing out of such a delicate frame beckons comparisons to Edith Piaf. The difference is that Patty's voice is more versatile. She can sing honky-tonk with a swagger (Loves Throws a Line), blues like a hip-cat (Standing), and the meloncholy ballad like nobody's business. "Cold as It Gets" might be her darkest song on record, and when she sings about a "wind that blows as cold as it gets/blew out the light in my soul," she leaves no room for doubt that the candle's out. I heard Patty sing "Top of the World" on public television back in 2000. I wondered why this incredible song hadn't made its way onto an album, and was quite surprised to see it on a Dixie Chicks album. It's a fine cover, but I was pleased to see Patty reclaim this song here. Her performance is superior because of its heightened emotionally intensity.

This album is only slightly blemished by some questionable mixing. Her vocals and the instrumentals are not always properly balanced. The instrumental lead-in on some songs was scarcely perceptible, prompting me to turn up the dial only to risk detonating my speakers once she actually started to sing.

With this album, she has achieved a perfect 5-0 record. There are few artists whose albums can be purchased without the slightest trepidation. Patty is one of the few."
A wonderful album, another must for fans
JoAnn Whetsell | Seattle, WA | 08/16/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I have all of Patty's album, including a single from her never-released one, and I find Impossible Dream to be generally captivating, if not consistently wonderful. She starts off with "Love Throw a Line," a gospel-flavored, hand-clapping, foot-stomping song. It has a different feel than the rest of the album, which is filled with folky ballads, intimate story songs. It works. "Standing," another gospel-influenced song, doesn't work so well for me, not because I don't like the song (I do), but because its sound is somewhat jarring compared to the songs it follows. But I can't think of anywhere else I would have put it where it would have worked better. It might also depend on my mood because sometimes I don't find it disturbing at all. This song and "Top of the World" were originally supposed to be on the never-released Silver Bells album.

The thing I find most jarring about the album is the clip of Patty's parents singing "Impossible Dream" smack in the middle of the record. It breaks up the flow. And the flow of this album is so important and so beautiful. It's like a river carrying us along, allowing us to look into the windows of the houses we pass and peek into people's lives.

That's not to say the songs sound alike. Like any river there are twists and turns, and the current is faster in some places than in others. The sunny-sounding "Useless Desires" follows the melancholy church sound of "Standing." "Top of the World" is a standout with a darker sound. It's followed by "Rowing Song" which has the feel of a round to it and wonderful horns.

The highlight for me is "When It Don't Come Easy," which is heartbreakingly beautiful lyrically and sonically. I have to admit the last 3 songs kind of fade into each other for me. But when I take the time to listen to them, they're beautiful too. About 5 minutes into "Mother of God," Patty changes the song, slowing it down, softening her voice, and making the strings more prominent. It's wistful, a combination hope and hopelessness.

All said, I like this album a lot. It's not necessarily Patty's best work (though it has a few of her best songs), but it's a wonderful album and another must for fans."
Music at it's finest!
N. Wojno | Detroit, MI USA | 01/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Impossible Dream is hands down one of my most favorite albums in the last decade. I have been a Patty fan pretty much from the beginning of her career and I adore and love every album she has made, but "Impossible Dream" is a full masterpiece. There is not one song that doesn't stand out in some way for me. Everything about this album, down to the artwork is just breathtaking.

Love Throw A Line - This song is the perfect choice to start the album with. It gives me that feeling of being in the old south, either sitting in a little white church gettin down, having a grand old time with a gospel choir or in a little hole in the wall blues bar, that only you have somehow magically discovered. It's a fun song that makes you want to close your eyes and just imagine that you are actually there experiencing the beautiful rhythms and energy in this song.

Cold As It Gets - In this song Patty's voice blasts out at you with hauntingly beautiful lyrics. Again, it feels like you are being taken back in time somewhere. It's as if you can actually feel the words as she singing them.

Kite Song - This song is like a dream. You can actually feel and see yourself running through the fields in the hills flying a Kite with someone you hold very close to you. Makes you think of how simple and beautiful everything really is. The piano is so gorgeous in this song, you can't help but get misty-eyed with every listen.

Standing - In this song, Patty really shines. Her voice is just brilliant. You wonder to yourself how a small little red-haired white woman can possibly have so much soul. The song builds and builds and then goes back down to a slow bluesy hum and ends just as powerful as it starts.

Useless Desires - In my opinion the best song on the album and best song she has ever written. Everything about this song is amazing. Her voice, the lyrics, the music, melody and just the general flow of the whole song. This songs just takes me away to a place I feel safe in. The lyrics are like everything we've all at one time felt and wanted to somehow put into words, and she accomplishes this. Without any flaws. The way her range shifts so effortlessly is mind numbing. How one song could be so beautiful and capture every feeling I have ever had myself makes me very happy.

Top of the World - Lot's of people think this song is in fact a "Dixie Chicks" song. Not the case. Patty is the mastermind behind this gem. Another song where Patty shows off her amazing vocal range. It's one of her more melancholy songs on the album. We all want to be on top of the world, but non of us are quite sure how to get there. And if we do, how do we stay there?

Impossible Dream - Not an actual full track on the album, but a little snippet of the song "Impossible Dream' sung by Patty's Mom and Dad. Perfectly placed between TotW and RS.

Rowing Song - This song has a very special place in my heart. Because I have often felt the way the song conveys. The horns in this song are in my opinion so beautiful you can feel them in your soul, literally. This song is genius through and through.

When It Don't Come Easy - The piano and backing vocals in this song are what makes it so amazing. The song starts off slow and slowly builds into an explosion of a gorgeous chorus of voices and horns. Then slows down again. The lyrics are heartbreaking. Talking of a love so strong, no matter how hard things get. That love remains.

Florida - Patty's vocals in this song are flawless once again. This song really tells you a story. Something we pretty much all go through at least once in our lives, one way or the other. Loneliness. How we all do what we have to do to just survive.

Mother of God - This song reminds me of my Grandmother. Kind of the story of a woman. The piano in this song is gorgeous. As is the way Patty sings with a lot of emotion in her voice. As if she were almost about to cry. I think the song is about women and their roles as "mothers." How we will do anything for our children, no matter the cost. Just like the "Mother of God." The cycle goes on and on. I think all women, weather we are aware of it or not are connected to each other by our ability to give life.

Icicles - An amazing song to end the album with. She took us through a journey the whole album and in this song, you can feel that journey coming to an end. To me this song sums it all up by telling us that everything you have to go through in life is worth it. no matter how hard or what the cost. You will find what you are looking for. "You'll be glad you got lost in the glow of love."