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Milk of the Moon

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Album Review

Why Greg Brown isn't a star on the order of Springsteen is one of life's mysteries. He's a superb American songwriter, able to distill the experience of living, whether on the stark "Lull It By" or the sensual sway of "Let Me Be Your Gigolo." If anything, his writing is becoming sparer than ever before; short lines create a succession of images on "Smell of Coffee," building into an overall image. His love songs have a tender maturity — "Milk of the Moon," for example, is the passion of a grown man. Brown is a man of the Midwest and doesn't try to hide it; quite the opposite — he celebrates it and its flavor suffuses every piece of his work. He can look back without ever seeming overly sentimental, too, as in "Telling Stories," which evokes small scenes from the past without ever feeling it needs a conclusion — just a mood. His deep voice — like Tom Waits without the whiskey crack — sounds like the voice of long experience, as in "Oh You," which sounds like a life story in a few minutes, the tale of a woman whose journey isn't over. Brown doesn't so much tell stories as suggest them, letting them work their way into the imagination. And in that way, he's a master, an American icon.

Customer Reviews

Amazing

What took me so long to discover Greg Brown? I wish I knew. This CD is fantastic. Every signel song is good. His deep voice is so cool. Steady Love is fun. Ashamed of Our Love is interesting. Let Me Be Your Gigolo is sexy.

Milk of the Moon and Salt of the Earth

Greg Brown, up there with Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell, is one of the most emotionally complex songwriters we have, capable of working those fascinating words into a tune that you can hum. He appreciates the value of rock and roll, but doesn't want us to forget the worth of poetry. When he's on his game, as he is in this album, he creates a landscape of music, with bogs, forests, and mountains. You could listen to this album once a week for the rest of your life, and still be finding out something new in fifty years. He's not the greatest of singers, though he's better than Leonard Cohen and the equal of Bob Dylan. He's no great guitarist. But he often lures friends in to play some tasty licks. If you listen to this album enough, whole vistas of philosophy will open up to you, and that's not such a bad thing.

springsteen? i'll take brown

to suggest that greg should be as popular as springsteen seems to take something away from greg. sure, springsteen is ok, but brown to me is far more dylan-esque... and a comparison to dylan should not be tossed around lightly. just buy all you can from greg, you will love it.

Biography

Born: 1949 in Fairfield, IA

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

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

Critic Josh Kun once described singer and songwriter Greg Brown as "a Midwestern existentialist hobo with a quick-draw mouth, a bloodied heart, and bourbon on his breath." One of the leading contemporary folk artists of the American Midwest, Brown's music reflects a poetic spirit while also sounding thoroughly down to Earth; his deep, craggy voice expresses quirky humor and the mysteries of life and love with equal skill, and over...
Full Bio