The Green World is the Dar Williams of the 21st Century collecting the musical, inspirational and emotional elements she developed over the last three albums and taking them all one great musical step further. The songs on... more » The Green World shine. Recorded in Woodstock and in New York City, Dar has added a new dimension to her work by using producer Stewart Lerman and a host of ace studio musicians. Their dramatic arrangements showcase not only her appealingly complex lyrics but also her growing musical and vocal maturity. Dar has added a new dimension to her recorded work. 24 bit / 96 kHz DVD-Audio, 24 bit / 48 kHz Dolby Digital 5.1, and stereo options
The Green World is the Dar Williams of the 21st Century collecting the musical, inspirational and emotional elements she developed over the last three albums and taking them all one great musical step further. The songs on The Green World shine. Recorded in Woodstock and in New York City, Dar has added a new dimension to her work by using producer Stewart Lerman and a host of ace studio musicians. Their dramatic arrangements showcase not only her appealingly complex lyrics but also her growing musical and vocal maturity. Dar has added a new dimension to her recorded work. 24 bit / 96 kHz DVD-Audio, 24 bit / 48 kHz Dolby Digital 5.1, and stereo options
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Tour Rehearsal Video
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One of Dar Williams' more recent works, this album took a while to grow on me, probably because the first few songs are energetic and upbeat and the music overshadows the lyrics. But the quieter and more multilayered songs - After All, Calling the Moon - remain my favourites.
Brian Melendez | Minneapolis, MN United States | 12/18/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had never heard of Dar Williams before a moment of words and music caught my attention in the background of a television show: "Once upon a time I had control / And reined my soul in tight." I tracked down the lyrics, from the song "After All," and ended up buying "The Green World." The song was a lyrical treasure, about the singer coming to terms with her family ("I am the daughter of a great romance / And they are the children of the war") and thereby unlocking her own life ("Well the sun rose with so many colors / It nearly broke my heart / And worked me over like a work of art . . ."). Not since I first heard Nanci Griffith singing "I Knew Love" have I listened to a new (to me, anyway) artist with such delight.After listening to "After All" for about the hundredth time, I tried the rest of the album, and was pleasantly surprised that "After All" was not just a gem in a five-and-dime store. Dar Williams can write, and she can sing, and both with art and heart and depth and range. Even her slightly jaunty tunes ("What Do You Love More Than Love," "Another Mystery") glitter with wry lyrical twists. Her tribute "I Had No Right" introduced me to Father Daniel Berrigan, an antiwar activist in the Vietnam era, who coupled his protest with a deeply reflective personal literature about social conscience ("First it was question, then it was a mission / How to be American, how to be a Christian") that I have just begun exploring.I have become a fan overnight. I look forward to getting to know the rest of Dar Williams's music."
Dar's gifts are obscured by generic production
Jonathan B Whitcomb | New Hampshire USA | 08/23/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Dar Williams is a very talented singer, song writer and performer. Her live performances hold a special place in my life, partially because they were wonderful, memorable shows, but more-so because my wife conceived shortly after each show. I guess when we're done expanding the family we'll have to miss Dar's shows!This album opens with a military snare drum rhythm and a blast of synthesized trumpets which serve notice that this is a new sound for Dar. Indeed, the album has a thickly layered sound where the producer seems hell bent on filling the spaces that used to punctuate Dar's recordings. I'm not a folk purist who objects to production out of hand. Indeed, I find the skillful juxtaposition of non-traditional sounds enhance an album, as Mitchell Froom's productions of Suzanne Vega and Ron Sexsmith do. But here Stewart Lerman glosses over the subtlety of Dar's songs and diverts the listener's attention away from their strengths rather than highlighting them.So does this ruin the album? No. It just makes the listener work harder to delve beneath the sonic layers to appreciate the fine material. In fact, this is state of the art production. Unfortunately, the current trend is to compress all the dynamics of a song and force the singer to compensate by over emoting. And while this works for demonstrative singers like Jewel, singers with subtler gifts get lost in the shuffle. So this album will do little to distinguish Dar Williams from scads of singer/song-writers trying to break into the limelight. And that's the tragedy here, since Dar is a rare talent who deserves to rise above the pack.Some recording artists need this sort of production to hide second rate material. But Dar Williams is a gifted story teller with an ear for strong melodies. The relentless layers of sound smother the subtleties of her writing and performance so instead of an outstanding album, we get merely a good one."
lab_gnome | Baltimore, MD USA | 09/30/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"So I first heard about Ms. Williams from the press for her "End of the Summer" CD. While I can't claim to be an ardent fan, I do recommend seeing her in concert. Her latest CD actually has some songs she's been playing for the last year or so, i.e. Cry Cry Cry and solo. So I've been waiting for this release with some anticipation. It does not disappoint. I am reminded of Suzanne Vega's first two albums, when I think about how Dar Williams' music has evolved since her last CD. Purists might disagree, but I think the additional background instruments add a texture to her songs they previously lacked. Her lyrics here are as well crafted as those by Cheryl Wheeler. My personal favorite is the sentimental "After All." In all, I am very happy with this latest CD, and I look forward to hearing her on tour.Addendum: I just saw her in concert, and I must admit to being somewhat disappointed. If you've heard the CD tracks, the live performances don't add much. Lost in all the flash and reverb were the elocution and inflection I have come to appreciate in Ms. Williams' songs. I found her acoustic renditions the most moving, and I hope she returns to this format. Soon."
Wow... another brilliant album from Dar!!
E. M. Carey | New York, NY USA | 12/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ever since I discovered Dar, I have been eager to explore each of her terrific albums for her extremely witty and intelligent lyrics, her beautiful melodies and so on. Although I had high hopes for End of Summer, I must admit that I was disappointed in (yet still enjoyed) that CD, feeling it wasn't up to the Honesty Room or, in my opinion, Dar's masterpiece Mortal City. Well, I lost touch for a bit and didn't even know Dar had a new CD coming until I saw this one. And with slightly lowered expectations, I must say that this album simply blew me away - it is absolutely fantastic. Within a few weeks - and a few thousand repetitions - I feel this CD is right up there with Mortal City.Dar is a totally unique musician - while other songwriters use great lyrics, there's something poetic in Dar's use of language that I've never heard anywhere else. And her music is strong enough to support and showcase these wonderful stories. A lot of this album feels very personal - most notably 'After All' but there's still a lot of whimsy within it. From the first few bars of 'Playing to the Firmament,' I was totally drawn in, and was struck by the end of 'Another Mystery' by how many different sounding songs were included in this one seamless album. I feel that Dar's Yoko Ono song is a perfect example of her uniqueness - sure, there's another song or two about Yoko out there, but Dar turns this one around and makes it her own, wondering from the start whether Yoko should have 'stayed solo' and not let John Lennon interfere with her own career, a little twist that's very Dar. And I'm sure I could not have tolerated from any other singer a line such as 'challening the warring nations with her paper installations...' I never get tired of Dar's fantabulous style, originality, terrific lyrics, wonderful music - I highly recommend this to any Dar fan, old or new, or to anyone who simply likes good music. You won't be disappointed, and you won't want to turn it off!"
Bring back the humor and distinctive character POVs
NancyMc | New York, NY | 09/26/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Unfortunately this CD continues the path Dar took in End of Summer - less of the distinctive character point of views and humor that made Honesty Room and Mortal City so original and fun.Even End of Summer had "Party Generation" which presented the point of view of an aging party animal and the clever yet soaring "What Do You Hear In These Sounds." And those are just shadows of amazing songs like "Flinty Kind of Woman", "The Babysitter's Here," "The Pointless, Yet Poignant Crisis Of A Co-Ed" and "The Christians and the Pagans."And I don't get all this blather from critics about how she's now more "pop-leaning" and less folky. Does anything rock out more exquisitely than "As Cool As I Am," which is from one of the two "more folky" releases? If anything, Green World is slower, more folky, more self-consciously singer-songwriter-poetic and humorless than anything she's done yet.Nevertheless, the last song on Greenworld, "Another Mystery" is up to Dar's songwriting genius standards and makes it all worth it. And I appreciated "I Won't Be Your Yoko Ono," which I hope is a reply to the fatuous Barenaked Ladies' "You Can Be My Yoko Ono.""