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Have One On Me

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iTunes Review

For a woman with a harp, Joanna Newsom polarizes audiences with greater efficiency than an indie-rock quarter armed with oversized amps and squealing feedback. Her songs are epics, twisting and turning with unexpected detours into classical motifs that jar the rhythmic flow. Her voice has become more mannered and able to soothe like a folk maiden on her third studio album, the 18-track masterwork Have One On Me. Fourteen of the tracks pass the six-minute mark, with eight minutes being the normal range. Newsom’s removed the Van Dyke Parks orchestrations of 2006’s Ys and settled often at the piano where she takes Tori Amos’ mysticism and elusive melodicism to another level. The title track is eleven minutes that float in several different directions. The just under four minutes of “’81” skates like a reflective early-‘70s piano ballad. “Good Intentions Paving Company” opens up like a majestic Joni Mitchell For the Roses-era type piece with backing vocals and subdued backing instrumentation that suddenly bursts through in the final minute. “In California” recalls the gentle end of the Laurel Canyon folk scene of the late ‘60s. Newsom goes forward by reaching back.

Customer Reviews

A Diary of Images

I must admit it, I love Joanna Newsom's aesthetic. In her album Ys, no doubt one of the greatest albums created in the last 10 years, she had fire, she had clarity, the music soared, the mountains shook. Everything. It was the perfect diamond of a record.

Unfortunately for her new album "Have One On Me" the best way to describe it would not be an epic 3 album tour-de-force, but rather be a wicker basket filled with curiosities. After several plays I feel more curious than any other emotion.

In her first track "Easy" we are immediately confronted with her new voice, and a new style of delivery. You get the feeling that she listened to Kate Bush for months on end, which isn't a bad thing, but some will miss the nuanced voice of Ys. She shows more range here, and is able to twist and curve her voice in new ways, but never has the punch that Kate Bush does just with a flinch of sound.

And ever more sadly, the production of the record seems to hide her voice underneath the lively music. At points, you have no idea what she could be talking about, and many will have to follow along with the lyric sheet to grasp the full presence of her poetry, which after all is Joanna's strength.

There are a few bright lights, such as "''81" which is a wonderful little personal parable, but the wonderful love poetry of "Good Intentions..." is covered up with a bunch of clever producing and over-dubbing, and plays against the intimate strength of her voice.

I would suggest that you don't tackle HOOM in one sitting, but rather let the curiosities root in different spaces. This is not a grand, confident and momentous progression like "Ys". It feels like bits of wandering in search of something, and some of the songs wander too much. "I've got all the time in the world," she sings in "Soft as Chalk."

But the journey is worth it, but don't expect a grand operatic statement, as most of the press of this album seems to be "Gosh! 3 Albums! OMG!" This is a feeling around for something group of albums. And aren't we all?

a gorgeous new chapter..

this long awaited collection of songs is stunning. just like any incredible record, it takes a few times through to fully appreciate, but it's well worth every moment of your attention. it has everything folks love about her previous two albums, while bringing a rich new soulful feel to her sound. my initial stand-out favorites are: "'81," "Esme," "On a Good Day".. and after a couple listens "Easy" jumped out.. and "Autumn"... so i'm assuming the rest of the songs will follow suit!

this a gorgeous record, by (in my opinion) one of the most creative song writers making music today.

Best Album of The Decade

Absolutely incredible. Each and every song is a masterpiece. BUY THIS IF YOU WANT TO LIVE HAPPILY.


Born: January 18, 1982 in Nevada City, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Although Joanna Newsom's Appalachian-meets-avant-garde take on folk music is her most celebrated work, her range is even more inclusive than her solo career suggests: the classically trained harpist adds a decidedly different, textural sound to Nervous Cop, the noise rock trio that also features Deerhoof's Greg Saunier and Hella's Zach Hill, and she also plays keyboards for the Pleased, another San Francisco-area band more akin to Blondie or Television than her other projects. Like her résumé, Newsom's...
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