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Carbon Glacier

Laura Veirs

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Customer Reviews

Carbon Glacier

I got this for the cover art, to be honest. I was browsing in Barnes & Nobles when I came across what looked like one of the most saddening covers there was. I sampled the music and decided why not; I had a few gift cards with somewhere around sixty dollars, anyway. The album sat around by my computer for a few days before I popped it in. I was sort of regretting it, wishing for a little more than there was... The music is, after all, very sparse. I decided to keep to it, though; it wasn't terrible. It was on my computer for a few weeks, and I had listened to it every so often because it was decent for background music. And then, something popped. As things turn out, this is a really good album. Veirs is extremely talented. It takes some getting used to, yeah, but it's worth the wait to do so. What works so well about this album is the central themes Veirs offers. It's the loosest sort of concept album, where the songs could all fit on different albums and work as well as they do here, give or take a few. There are the themes of death, of family, of life, of the sea, and of winter. The music works well with the lyrics and with Veirs' tone. The instrumentals unfortunately take away from this, but they fortunately don't disrupt the flow of the album. The best songs are when Veirs sounds the most melancholy. About half of the songs on the album prove just as much, from the first two tracks to "Shadow Blues," "Snow Camping," "Chimney Sweeping Man" and "Riptide." There are a few melancholy songs I don't particularly care for, such as "Rapture," but with the rest of the songs being generally great, you can look past it. I recommend the entire album. True, it's not Feist's Let It Die, nor is it Cat Power's Moon Pix. But it is an album that comes as close to measuring up to those two as it gets. Plus, it's got some great artwork.

this is awesome

i really love this album and its one of the coolest pieces of alternative folk out there ... really youll enjoy it sooo much... i enjoi it ( those of you that skate get that ... enjoi) but ya this is music ... Scotty Jones~~

if you like her other stuff...

This will blow you away. But maybe not right away. Like another reviewer, this album grew on me gradually. I LOVED Year of Meteors, and after a few listens, I thought Carbon Glacier was good, but not quite Year of Meteors good. And then all of a sudden, I found myself liking the songs on this album more and more...

The music has a cold aspect to it, even though Veirs's soul is certainly warm and full of emotion. It would be too simple to say that these songs are melancholy, because there is that aspect to them, but there's also a beauty and intensity making them more than just sad songs (and they're not all sad, either). The opening track, "Ether Sings," features a sing-songy melodic line, and introduces the themes of ice, cold, and emptiness. A wonderful electronic drone, with its cold artificiality and objective, emotionless sound, makes a similarly icy accompaniment to the warm acoustic guitar. "Icebound Stream" is my favorite track, as Veirs approaches the vocal part with vigor and intensity, accenting her words in an almost angry tone. Her voice, filtered through electronics on this track, features another wonderful combination of artificial and organic, cold and warmth. Heavily echoed drums and a twisting, scraping viola part just add to the power of this song. "Rapture" is probably going to be your favorite song from this album. Full of incredible lyrics about Monet, Basho, and Kurt Cobain, this song is at once haunting and blissfully endearing.

But it's not all ice and death and freezing: like other artists who have successfully captured the essence of cold in music (Sibelius comes to mind), Veirs knows how to do beauty, tenderness, hope, and simplicity. "Wind is Blowing Stars" has a back-to-roots, Guthrie feel to it, "Anne Bonny Rag" sounds like a pretty Appalachian dance tune, and "The Cloud Room" might be Veirs's most rocking tune to date (yes, more rocking than "Galaxies"). To be honest, the second half of the album doesn't live up to the first half, but that's alright, the songs are still great, Veirs's lyrics are still powerfully real, and her voice is still so wonderfully simple and gorgeous. She sings like what you'd expect from someone's speaking voice, which is to say that there's something very personal about the timbre of her voice. Get this album, it even works on a warm sunny day.

Biography

Born: 1973 in Colorado

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Seattle singer/songwriter Laura Veirs sings personal songs of romantic intoxication, everyday vignettes, and occasional social commentary that are often heavy on introspection and intense character scrutiny. Her vocals and melodies rapidly shift and veer, up and down her wide vocal range. She put out her own self-titled CD, recorded live and featuring just her and guitar, in 1999. Though she went to the studio for her next album, The Triumphs & Travails of Orphan Mae, it too was self-released...
Full Bio
Carbon Glacier, Laura Veirs
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