Search - Eliza Carthy :: Angels & Cigarettes

Angels & Cigarettes
Eliza Carthy
Angels & Cigarettes
Genres: Folk, International Music, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

British singer, songwriter, and fiddler Eliza Carthy graduates to a lush, expansive pop palette with her move to a major U.S. label, but this second-generation troubadour's persona hasn't been compromised. Daughter and ers...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Eliza Carthy
Title: Angels & Cigarettes
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 3
Label: Warner Bros UK
Original Release Date: 1/1/2000
Re-Release Date: 1/30/2001
Album Type: Import
Genres: Folk, International Music, Pop, Rock
Styles: British & Celtic Folk, Contemporary Folk, Singer-Songwriters
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 093624769828

British singer, songwriter, and fiddler Eliza Carthy graduates to a lush, expansive pop palette with her move to a major U.S. label, but this second-generation troubadour's persona hasn't been compromised. Daughter and erstwhile bandmate of English folk legends Norma Waterson and Sir Martin Carthy, the younger Carthy embraces a balance of tradition and experimentation; her earlier solo projects have confirmed her modernism as vividly as her body piercings and brash hair colors. On Angels & Cigarettes, her band executes a quantum shift in wattage, cushioning her ripe, lyrical fiddle lines and a filigree of acoustic stringed instruments with thick synthesizer textures, layered percussion, and bursts of orchestral drama (courtesy of arranger Van Dyke Parks) that reconcile '90s trip-hop with '60s art-pop. Her dusky alto meanwhile follows a sturdy thread through recent stylists such as Beth Orton, Sandy Denny, Linda Thompson, and the singer's own mum. Carthy's indelible Yorkshire accent and the striking candor of her lyrics meanwhile sound both up-to-the-minute and as plainspoken as Child ballads. She strikes different sexual pitches, from gentle eroticism ("Whole") to matter-of-fact bawdiness ("The Company of Men"), and injects a tart element of class-consciousness to her portraits of the perfect and privileged ("Beautiful Girl"). For adventurous pop fans and open-minded folkies, Angels & Cigarettes is both lovely and addictive. --Sam Sutherland

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CD Reviews

spiral_mind | Pennsylvania | 02/27/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Folk Singer Branches Out. Well actually it's not fair to label Eliza as a folk singer; her musical interests are much wider. This album may be a surprise to anyone expecting another Red Rice. Instead of bringing some old music into this century, now she brings some old-century sounds to today's music. The songs on Angels & Cigarettes, almost all originals this time, are like modern 'alternative' rock (sorry, I hate labels) with a definite folk sensibility, although there are also hints of jazz and reggae among others. Her singing and fiddling are improving by leaps and bounds, although the instrument isn't as prominent as on Red Rice. Largely sad ("Train Song," "Fuse"), but occasionally sunny ("Whispers of Summer," "Perfect"), this is a welcome addition to an increasingly impressive career. Highly enjoyable with some small flaws, such as the heavy-handed overdone string arrangement on "In the Company of Men." It seems as though there are always fewer and fewer of these flaws every time out. I remain curious about what's next."
This cd is incredible
Erica Anderson | Minneapolis, MN | 02/04/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"After reading a review of "Angels & Cigarettes" in a recent issue of Entertainment Weekly, my curiousity got the best of me since I just started getting into celtic-influenced music like The Corrs. I am just stunned by how gorgeous Eliza's vocals are. She kinda reminds me of my favorite folk artist Dar Williams, except Irish. I can hear elements of folk and trip hop in Eliza's music. Tracks such as "Whispers of Summer", "The Company of Men", "Perfect" and a cover of Paul Weller's "Wildwood" really stands out with me. I can't put into words why except for the melodies of these songs struck a chord with me and are just superb songs. Eliza has a real knack for melodies as I heard in "Angels & Cigarettes". Terrific album, terrific woman."
Interesting experiment, partially successful
Duayne Price | 01/31/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Despite this being misrepresented in the media as a "debut" album, most of us music geeks know Eliza from her previous career: a brilliant interpreter of British Isles folk music. Eliza was a vanguard in that realm because she was unafraid of fusing new threads into old cloth -- after all, what is "folk music" but the amalgam of all that came before? Experiments with rhythm sections (and some of her old band joins her here), extra-genre material, original composition (which she's quite good at), and simply having a good time (rare in folk circles) made her a star. . .Here she still sounds influenced by English tonalities, but it is placed in a modern setting -- complete with trip-hop beats, faux-analog synthes, and such. A lot of it works, too. Her originals (nine-tenths of the disks) are aluring and sophisticated, her singing as austere-yet-mischievious as always. The funk rhythms add a bit. But ultimately the production makes this a questionable endeavor. Producer Al Scott overdoes everything, from the tinkling synths to the multi-layered backing vocals. What could have been a classic album with a live band is rendered cheap and silly-sounding by his overbearing hand. Still, well worth hearing (and dig BJ Cole's pedal-steel playing!)..."