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1000 Kisses

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Album Review

Patty Griffin's third album, her first material to be released since 1998 (the absorption of her former label, A&M, in the Polygram-Universal merger left an album Griffin cut in 2000 in the vault, where it's sadly likely to stay), strikes a stylistic middle ground between the stark voice-and-guitar approach of her debut, Living with Ghosts, and the eclectic textures of Flaming Red. 1000 Kisses was mostly recorded live in the studio with a small acoustic band, including Doug Lancio on guitar and mandolin, Brian Standefer on cello, Giles Reeves on vibraphone and percussion, and Michael Ramos on accordion; the feel of the performances is close and intimate, with the occasional cough or footfall audible in the background, and these sessions capture more than a bit of the cinéma vérité mood of Living with Ghosts. But if the album's production style is subtle, it's also a superb match for the material, and without forcing their hand, Griffin and the musicians can sway from the life-on-the-street swagger of "Chief" to the Latin romanticism of "Mil Besos" to the torchy late-night blues of "Tomorrow Night" without missing a step, finding a broad emotional spectrum in these low-key sessions. And while 1000 Kisses finds Griffin blending covers in with her own compositions for the first time, she proves to be a first-rate interpretive singer (her version of Bruce Springsteen's "Stolen Car" actually improves on "the Boss"' original), and her own songs are splendid, especially the moving widow's lament "Making Pies" and the moody lead-off track "Rain." And regardless of who wrote the material, Griffin's voice — a tower of strength capable of expressing remarkable emotional vulnerability — remains a wonder to behold. 1000 Kisses finds Patty Griffin at the top of her game, and one can only hope we don't have to wait four years for the follow-up.

Customer Reviews

This bone's connected to...

I learned of Patty Griffin via an episode of the television series Bones. The song Rain played as Angela looked for her friend in the desert. I'm a grown man, and it almost brought me to tears. I love that the increase in production values on television shows has also brought with it added value in music, as without that I'd have never discovered this little gem.

Elegant. Ethereal. Enchanting....

I bought this, my 1st ever track - 'Rain' - from the oh-so-talented Miss Patti Griffin, after hearing it played on the television series 'Bones' - Season 1, Episode 17, The Skull in the Desert.

The song and her voice, along with that 'something extra', fit the scene so perfectly I could have sworn it was written for that exact scene, for that exact moment, for that exact atmosphere - sometimes films/tv etc get it soooo right and this was 1 of those times. Thankfully though this song goes much much farther than just a 'Bones' episode - it has so much and is unrivaled in its absolute yet simplistic beauty.

I loved 'Rain' instantly, and it was just the beginning of the love affair between music, musician/s and listener/s. Whilst I don't recall having heard of Patti, prior to hearing 'Rain' I am certainly listening now - listening with both ears wide open, and with my heart and soul - my age is irrelevant. With all the imposed 'boxes' we are placed in, or that we place others in, during life - music is one of very few things in this world that transcends ALL barriers :)

Biography

Born: 16 March 1964 in Old Town, ME

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The youngest of seven children, Patty Griffin grew up hearing her mother sing while doing housework and her grandmother's family sing on the front porch at night. In addition to listening intently to the Beatles, Griffin was fascinated by the music of Bruce Springsteen and Rickie Lee Jones. Although she acquired a $50 guitar and began writing songs at the age of 16, Griffin gave little thought to a career as a musician. After living in Florida for nearly two years, she moved to Boston and married,...
Full Bio