"I've been procrastinating writing a critique of The Walking because the task is too much like work. And work, unless you happen to be the skipper of a chartered sailboat, ain't fun. I also considered describing the CD as pioneering, ingenious and elusive. The albums of artists such as Suzanne Vega, Kate Bush and Laurie Anderson also meet the same criteria, but none sound at all like The Walking.After listening to Jane for years, the best description is that The Walking is a collection of "mini-suites." So what the heck is a "mini-suite"? Well, it's a musical composition from four to eleven minutes long with several changes in melody and tempo; and has a nonstandard verse-chorus-verse structure. Her compositions resemble different songs woven together into one "suite." The Walking opens with the 9-minute epic titled `The White Tent The Raft.' The composition begins with two lovely and melodic verses, moves through 5 "clearings," each time returning to a powerful rhythm driven chorus. Each "clearing" is followed by a dissonant "transparent," leading back to original melody. The composition ends with Jane whispering "The white tent, the raft and one red leaf for my love - for your love." Musicians might describe `The White Tent The Raft' as an exercise in dissonance and resolution. The song is both intellectually challenging and emotionally spellbinding.`Goodbye' is a musical metaphor relating Jane's attempt to dine in a restaurant, and leaving her loved one. Her sobbing plea for a table "just for one" is heartbreaking. Cut 4 (Ingrid and The Footman) is a delightful "fun" song with a silly "Yahdee Yahdee" chorus. The title song (The Walking and Constantly) is a melodic and rhythm driven composition of emotional loss. In summary, The Walking is Jane Siberry's most difficult, obscure and complex album. Which means that it is also her Masterpiece."
Eric Swanger | Chicago, IL USA | 03/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Totally brilliant album...I don't even know where to start!I think this is the album where she has really discovered the power of her own voice. The vocals are intricately and yet densely layered, and she displays an amazing range of how she uses her voice, whether painfully high and operatic or soft spoken. She has a really original voice also, joining a long list of other contemporary singers such as kate bush, bjork, natalie merchant...a voice that is almost instantly recognizable.
Her music on this album is probably the most complex of her career, especially the songs "Lena is a White Table" and "The White Tent the Raft," which are the strongest songs on the album and consequently of the best of her career. "The White Tent the Raft" and "Bird in the Gravel" are the most epic-length compositions she has ever done, which leaves her plenty of room to create some amazingly dense landscapes of music. The album also is more conceptual than other releases, because I get the feeling the tracks are arranged in their order to elude to a kind of musical journey.
Her music is extremely difficult to pigeonhole, which is good for her I think, because I think it makes her able to leap from different genres without flinching an inch. She has maintained an impressive talent for some 20 years now, and her albums have always had something distinctively different to offer, as they are generally quite different from each other. I still stand by my feeling that this is Jane Siberry at her peak, however I also think that "No Borders Here" and "Bound by the Beauty" are also quite impressive releases, but are quite different musical experiments than "The Walking."I have always loved Jane Siberry's musical perspective. Her music has a poetic edge that is painfully missing from most contemporary music these days. A lot of critics call her "quirky," which I think really means that they don't understand her music, and feel they have to qualify her sound in a way that is simple to understand, even if her music is far more complex than that. Jane Siberry is a painfully underappreciated songwriter and musician, however I think her name comes up in certain circles more often now, because I think a lot of modern songwriters are familiar with her music, and list her as one of their influences. Her music certainly warrants that kind of appreciation, as she is one of the most original voices that has come to light in the past 2 decades."
Absolutely amazing. Words can't describe this record's powe
Aly | 05/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This will be my third review (one in my school paper, the other on Epinions) on this album, and I still can't find words that will do it justice. The Walking is just an amazing album.
With songs that are beautiful, experimental, and thought-provoking, Jane Siberry challenges the listener to the extreme with this album. I've listened to a lot of music (well, a lot for my age), and I can only think of a handful of albums that match the listening experience that is this album. Jane goes through a whole cycle of emotions in just the first song, so naturally the entire album is an intellectual, spiritual, and emotional journey through Jane's mind. And what a beautiful mind it is.
The opening track, "The White Tent The Raft," is over nine minutes(!) long and goes through several "clearings." If you can snag a copy of the lyrics/liner notes, it's very cool to see how Jane separated this. "Red High Heels" is a lovely little song that "sways and reels" through a pretty melody with equally pretty music. "Goodbye" is one of the most heartbreaking songs about lost love ever written ("I went to say I love you/But instead I said goodbye"), which climaxes in Jane pleading for a table "just for one" in a restaurant, and then leaving in a defiant huff: "Don't you want my business? I will never come back here..." However, Jane rounds out the sadness with the unbelievably catchy (and clever) "Ingrid (And The Footman)," which is a sprightly romp with a chorus consisting of just "Yahdee, yahdee, yahdee..." Next is "Lena Is A White Table," which is one of the most experimental songs on the album. Again, worth looking at the liner notes to see all of the narrators on this one, including a window. "The Walking (And Constantly)" is sad and reminds me of water ("An endless stream of endless dreams/That wheel and roll just past my shoulder") as Jane's gorgeous voice builds around a piano melody. "The Lobby" is a very beautiful song and is one of Jane's greatest sonic achievements, having a very ethereal quality to it. The album rounds out with "The Bird In The Gravel," which has even more narrators to be had. The track is a lovely and experimental 10-minute-plus sprawl through the autumn season and the minds of inhabitants of a mansion.
The Walking is truly a pop album of the highest calibre. Where traditional pop music just serves as ear candy, Siberry redefines art with this album. With only eight tracks that average at over six minutes in length each, The Walking will probably challenge and test a casual listener's patience. However, those who will be able to appreciate the beauty of this album will most definitely come to fall in love with it. Five stars, easily. A classic.
"Ever riotous, ever willing, ever walking." - Jane Siberry, liner notes in The Walking, speaking of the songs on this album."
Learn about Siberry starting at ground level
Aly | 11/10/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jane Siberry has made a name for herself, in her own fashion, in the alternative folk/pop world and beyond. But for those listeners who came to know and appreciate her music and personae in the last ten years or so, The Walking is well worth reaching back thirteen years for. I first heard the tracks on this CD during a live performance in a small college auditorium that was less than half full. Siberry spoke very little during the show, and much of it was more like performance art than a concert. It moved me more than any performance ever has, though I never could say why. I think When I was a Boy and Bound By the Beauty are her best albums in terms of polish, discipline, and accessibility. But The Walking offers listeners a journey through music and imagery that is unparalleled in scope and strength. Don't miss this trip!"