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Stranger's World
Patty Larkin
Stranger's World
Genres: Folk, Pop
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1

It's fitting that Bruce Cockburn sings on two songs on Patty Larkin's new album, --Strangers {cq} World, for Larkin's new music has far more in common with the harmonically dense, guitar-driven folk-rock of Cockburn and Ri...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Patty Larkin
Title: Stranger's World
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 1
Label: Windham Hill Records
Original Release Date: 7/18/1995
Release Date: 7/18/1995
Genres: Folk, Pop
Styles: Traditional Folk, Contemporary Folk, Singer-Songwriters
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 729021033520, 729021033544

It's fitting that Bruce Cockburn sings on two songs on Patty Larkin's new album, --Strangers {cq} World, for Larkin's new music has far more in common with the harmonically dense, guitar-driven folk-rock of Cockburn and Richard Thompson than with the strum-along confessionals of the coffeehouse crowd. There was no need for Cockburn to play the guitar parts himself, for Larkin has always been a superb picker. With each album, her songwriting skills have gotten closer and closer to the standards of her guitar playing, and on this new project it's nearly impossible to separate the elegance of her melodies or the emotional density of her harmonies from her facility on the instrument. It's only after the music has demanded our attention and has established the mood that we notice the lyrics. They're strong--the political slogans and cheap jokes of her early work has given way to visual detail and evocative vernacular--but the words serve the music rather than the other way around. On the ear-grabbing chorus of "Johnny Was a Pyro," a note-leaping exclamation establishes the singer's despair before the words get a chance to explain it ("What am I doing with this ring on my hand?"). The lyrics for "Closest Thing" are oblique, but the skittering Celtic arpeggio and husky vocal harmonies telegraph the romantic intent. Long before the words provide the details of car wrecks in a blizzard and armed robbery in a downtown store, the sense of crisis in "Me and That Train" is established by the jittery, percussive, minor-key chords. --Strangers World was produced by John Leventhal, who created a similar chamber-folk-rock sound for Rosanne Cash's recent albums, and Leventhal plays several instruments on each track. The result reminds one of the unusual soundscapes Joni Mitchell created on her later albums, and Larkin has moved as far from her first recordings as Mitchell did.--Geoffrey Himes

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CD Reviews

Intelligent songwriting, outstanding performance
hihowrya | RI USA | 12/06/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Patty Larkin is an inspiring musician. Not only is she an incredible live performer, but her artistry continues to improve with every CD release. Larkin is not your typical run-of-the-mill coffeehouse chanteuse with a guitar. She is an astonishing singer/songwriter/guitarist, energetic and eclectic in her rhythms and moods. Her musical explorations spin around the world, and she continues to create vibrant, intriguing songs. Also check out her latest release "Regrooving the Dream". Patty Larkin is a satifying listen, kind of like finally finding a really good, smart novel. She is a rarity, very cool and hard to come by."
Patty's best!
hihowrya | 07/23/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"For me, this is Patty Larkin's' highpoint - a flawless album superbly written, fabulously sung, and extraordinarily well played. Song's like "Open Arms," "Carolina" and most of all the excellent "Me And That Train" open up a world of exciting new possibilities for the first rate singer/songwriter - possibilities continued on the excellent follow-up "Perishable Fruit.""
C. S. Richardson | Tulsa, OK USA | 05/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I came late to this dance, not long before the 10th anniversary of the release of "Stranger's World." It was one of those CDs I've been meaning to get around to; now I have, and I'm glad I did. Every song on this album is enlightening and enjoyable; "Open Arms (Don't Explain)" along with "Me and That Train" are incomparable."