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The Rain Is a Handsome Animal (17 Songs from the Poetry of E.E. Cummings)

Tin Hat

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iTunes Review

This album is Mastered for iTunes. Tin Hat’s sixth release features adaptations of 17 poems by e.e. cummings. Even for the wildly eclectic Tin Hat it’s an ambitious concept yet it’s brought fully to life by the virtuosic quartet. Familiarity with cummings’ unconventional work is not required to enjoy the album (though reading the poems while listening offers its own rewards). The Rain is a Handsome Animal is an adventurous romp through language and sound. Singer and violinist Carla Kihlstedt interprets cummings’ work with warmth and wit, her agile vocals a match for the poet’s rhythmic, syntax-stretching style. Together with Mark Orton on guitar, Ben Goldberg on clarinet, and Rob Reich on piano and accordion they perform inventive arrangements that run from playful to dark in step with the poems. “A Cloud on a Leaf” has a light tango feel, “2 Little Whos” is jazzy and breezy, the instrumental title track is whimsical, and “Sweet Spring” soothes like a lullaby. At the other end are haunting tracks like “Unchanging” and “Human Rind” and the seven minute discordant instrumental “Enormous Room.”

Customer Reviews


This album is absolutely stunning, from the instrumentation to the vocals and, of course, the lyrics.

Another great installation to Tin Hat repertoire

The album has its own unique character that differentiates itself from previous albums, yet it stays true to Tin Hat. It has more of the violinist's voice than any other of their albums, which tend to only have one song with vocals. She has one of my favorite voices ever so continue to support this group!

Fusion at its best

Tin Hat has created a fantastic fusion of poetry and music with their latest album “The Rain is a Handsome Animal."

Setting 17 of the poems by e.e. cummings to music (a trail which Jonatha Brooke blazed back in 2008 with her masterpiece entitled “The Works,” which brought previously unfinished songs written by Woody Guthrie to full and vivid life), Tin Hat matches the spirit of cummings with their exemplary musicality which defies categorization.

This is music that you’ll *want* to listen to over and over because it reveals something new and fresh with each experience.

The Rain Is a Handsome Animal (17 Songs from the Poetry of E.E. Cummings), Tin Hat
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Customer Ratings

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