Search - Syd Straw :: Surprise

Syd Straw
Genres: Alternative Rock, Folk, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Syd Straw
Title: Surprise
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Koch Records
Release Date: 3/14/2000
Genres: Alternative Rock, Folk, Pop, Rock
Styles: Indie & Lo-Fi, Singer-Songwriters
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
Other Editions: Surprise
UPCs: 099923803829, 075679126610, 075679126641

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CD Reviews

A virtually unknown gem
Richard Moose | Santa Ana, CA United States | 06/08/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I was waiting for a David Lindly show to begin (I *think* it was at The Whiskey circa 1989/90) and the DJ played "Think Too Hard" and it blew me away. I worked my way up to the booth and asked the guy guarding the door if he knew who it was. He looked at me like I was crazy so I gave him a five and asked him if he would ask the DJ for me. That night we went from the Whiskey directly to Tower Records (open until midnight) and I picked up Surprise. It's been a staple in my collection ever since.Think Too Hard - Great upbeat rocker about how easy it is to get lost in your mind, especially when it comes to love. "Go thinking all the time and You'll probably lose your mind"Heart of Darkness - If this wasn't Syd, the music could almost be called pop, but it is Syd, so the music has more depth. It's about how sometimes we see others more clearly than they see themselves. "I'm looking through your heart of darkness, Past the grey to the light on the other side..."Chasing Vapor Trails - People talk like Shania Twain invented County Pop. Trust me, this song could be rearranged just a bit and be a country smash. But the arrangement is perfect as it is. Great Lyrics: "I gave you ten second chances, You gave me nine alibis. Now I'm gone like a memory."Almost Magic - Thoughtful pace. Love out of sync. "Oh no you can't be going -- I'm just beginning -- your change of heart took me by surprise. I never knew. Now you tell me that you've lost the feeling of whatever it was. It was Almost magic."Crazy American - A bit of a remix and this could be a dance/trance hit, but it's pure Syd. "Please forgive the way I live and how the dust surrounds us. I remain the crazy Amercian."Hard Times - How many other artists would even *think* to cover a Stephen Foster song from 1859? Syd makes it her own.Future 40's (String of Pearls) - Easy countryish rocker. Again, arrange it differently and you'd have a hit for Shania. "Hey man I'm making moves and I am so much strong than you"Unanswered Question - This song almost reminds me of Poco. "...we strike a delicate balance defy gravity's challenge this is a story with a girl who never touches the ground alone up in the air where the answers are found to the Unanswered Question"Sphinx - Syd wrote the tagline for this song: "SOME STORIES ARE TOO SAD TO TELL - THIS IS NOT ONE OF THEM." Quirky lyrics, easy rocker with country undertones.Racing to the Ruins - Straight up rocker - "Love is only human and we're racing to the ruins"Golden Dreams - Slower paced ballad fitting as the album closer. "I can't hold on to what I cannot see And you're far away but I remember yes I remember you in a golden dream" If Syd's voice doesn't move you in this one, call the undertaker, you're dead."
Best Surprise in a long time
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The re-issue of this gem is the best surprise in a long time (with bonus tracks to boot). Straw's velvety vocals and sharp wit are matchless. The songs range from quirky rockabilly rambles to beautiful heartfelt ballads. The musicians on this album are a brilliant eclectic mix. Add to that inspired lyrics, sparkling melodies and an infectious beat and you have one of the best CD's of the 90's (and it was recorded in 89!)."
A sadly overlooked disk
m_noland | Washington, DC United States | 04/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Village Voice ads for Syd Straw's shows used to bill her as something like "Lower East Side Country Girl" which sort of captured her spirit - in the positive sense. This was a sadly overlooked record from a career that never seemed to connect with either the indy rock or audience the way it should have. This disk features some interesting songwriting ("Sphinx" a fantasy about her alterego, "Almost Magic," a faded love country song), playing (guitar virtuoso Richard Thompson turns in accompaniment on a couple of tracks, a partial list of the side-men is extraordinary: Thompson, Ry Cooder, Don Was, Bernie Worrell, Marc Ribot, Dave Alvin, Tony Levin, Benmont Tench, Greg Leisz et al.,), and duets with Michael Stipe and John Doe. Straw has a good voice (I still hear her on commercials now and again) ... Somehow, it never all connected though. Maybe it was because Straw made a lousy video bimbo. Anyway, it's worth taking a flyer on this intriguing disk."