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The Changer and the Changed

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Album Review

More than simply the best-selling album on the stalwart Olivia Records label and a classic of the "women's music" subgenre, Cris Williamson's The Changer and the Changed is a brilliant '70s singer/songwriter album. The simple but rich arrangements set Williamson's glorious voice and piano against strings, flute, and Jacqueline Robbins' jazz-inflected fretless bass, giving the album a timeless sound and putting the focus entirely on the songs and Williamson's elegantly passionate performance of them. All ten songs are sublime, though the opening "Waterfall," featuring some sterling Fender Rhodes work by Williamson, and the solo piano ballad "One of the Light" are the clear highlights. The album was remixed slightly and reissued in a slightly revised cover in 1977; this version is the one available on CD, but the differences between it and the original mix are minor.


Born: 1947 in Deadwood, SD

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Just as baseball historians can only speculate about how players in the old Negro leagues would have fared in the absence of segregation in the major leagues prior to the arrival of Jackie Robinson in 1947, so music historians may ponder what status Cris Williamson might have assumed if she had emerged at a time when admitted homosexuals were not subject to exclusion from major record labels. By the 1990s, openly gay women artists Melissa Etheridge, Indigo Girls, and k.d. lang were able to maintain...
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The Changer and the Changed, Cris Williamson
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