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Haste Make / Hard Hearted Stranger

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Album Review

The music critic cliché about double albums is that they'd often be better if they were boiled down to single album size, but that's not the case with the second release from North Carolina duo Mandolin Orange. Besides the consistent quality of the material, the thing that keeps this two-CD set from falling into the aforementioned category is the fact that it's really two separate albums packaged together, rather than one double-length slab of songs. Haste Make and Hard Hearted Stranger were each recorded at different studios during different periods of time; each has different guest players and its own distinct sonic identity. Naturally, both discs find singers/multi-instrumentalists Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz delivering graceful, organic-sounding vocal harmonies and supporting their songs with deft acoustic instrumentation, including guitars, mandolin (of course), fiddle, and viola, all employed in a low-key folk setting. But Haste Make is a rather more full-bodied set, achieving a bit of a folk-rock sound, while Hard Hearted Stranger is a much more sparsely arranged, fragile-sounding collection of tunes. Still, it's not as though the first disc gets into gritty, Crazy Horse-style territory or anything — it's still a relatively laid-back affair, but the minimalist settings of Hard Hearted Stranger are such that even the subtlest of musical additions seems striking in contrast. In the end, though, the true measure of this outing's success is the fact that each disc works equally well on its own terms. ~ J. Allen, Rovi

Customer Reviews

So good...

Purchased yesterday, and it's already on constant rotation. No regrets!

Nylon brought me here.

Sounds good c:

amazing cd and band

The folky, home-town feel of Mandolin Orange has only grown better with time. Incredible songs and even better live


Formed: 2009 in Carrboro, NC

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Formed in 2009 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina around the talents of singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Marlin and violinist/guitarist Emily Frantz, Mandolin Orange draw from wells both old and new, offering up a heady mix of bluegrass, gospel, folk, country, and pop that invokes the earthy timelessness (and effortless harmonies) of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, the sweet unpredictability of Nickel Creek, and the rich, gothic Americana of the Civil Wars. Partners in music and life,...
Full Bio
Haste Make / Hard Hearted Stranger, Mandolin Orange
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Customer Ratings