Nov 17, 2006

Joanna Newsom

Ys deserves every inch of acclaim it has received since its release this week. Joanna Newsom's second album after 2004's "The Milk Eyed Mender" is a staggering triumph of ambition and beauty. Her debut was but only a hint of the masterpiece she has created here. Clocking in at just under an hour, the 5 songs will unfold and deliver surprises that make your heart and mind ache. As has been covered extensively she employed the talents of Van Dyke Parks, such beautiful string arrangements, and master producer Steve Albini to augment her unique harp playing. Some people are put off by her childlike voice, please don't be, this is an album that shoots for the stars and delivers in full force. "Emily" is my favourite track but each song has its own special charms, "Only Skin" staggers belief in its complexity.

We've seen those mountains kneeling, felten and grey
We thought our very hearts would up and melt away
From that snow in the night time
Just going
And going
And the stirring of wind chimes
In the morning
In the morning
Helps me find my way back in
From the place where I have been

And, Emily - I saw you last night by the river
I dreamed you were skipping little stones across the surface of the water
Frowning at the angle where they were lost, and slipped under forever,
In a mud-cloud, mica-spangled, like the sky'd been breathing on a mirror


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