Released: Aug 6, 2013
Genre: Indie Rock, Alternative Country
Label: Columbia, Sensibility Music
Number Of Tracks: 12
The Civil Wars' new album is here with about 45 minutes of less of their characteristic minimalism and more drums, more strings, more accordion, more French, more intimate lyrics, and songs performed live since the first tour, but never properly recorded.
The Civil Wars
Spambot_2, on september 02, 2013 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: The minimalist, mostly gloomy country-americana duo consisting in singer and piano player Joy Williams and singer and guitarist John Paul White met each other at a songwriting session in Nashville, and gained success at an incredibly fast pace starting from the moment in which they released their first album, "Barton Hollow." Between then and now they contributed to "The Hunger Games" soundtrack with two tracks, one of which featured Taylor Swift, went on tour with Adele, and won not one but two Grammy Awards.
Last November, while on the road in Europe, they announced a hiatus which still lasts, the day of the release of their new self titled LP "The Civil Wars," and since the last day of recording they are not on speaking terms. Though, their new album is here with about 45 minutes of less of their characteristic minimalism and more drums, more strings, more accordion, more French, more intimate lyrics, and songs performed live since the first tour, but never properly recorded. // 8
Lyrics: "If you want to know what happened to the band, listen to the album," stated the singer Joy Williams. The lyrics are deep and intimate, and talk about a relationship. The Civil Wars are married, but not with each other - condition which makes impossible for them to spend a lot of time with their families, and the lyrics are about the relationship and the "civil wars" they have had and are having at the moment. The change in the main theme of this record is followed by a slight change of the harmonies between the two singers' voices, a big part of what made them so recognized, that are still - but less present. // 7
Overall Impression: Three out of twelve songs have regularly been in The Civil Wars' live sets since their first tour, and these resemble the style of the first record in many ways. The other nine instead, were different.
"The One That Got Away," first single from the album, and "Eavesdrop," my personal favorite, feature a full drum set, as opposed to their very firs single "Barton Hollow" and actually every song on their first album. "Dust to Dust" even features an electronic drum set. The vast majority of songs on the album feature more than two instruments at a time, again opposed to the previous releases.
Also, only two of the three previously written songs, "Oh Henry" and "Disarm," together with the new "D'Arline" and "Sacred Heart," which is also sung in French, are the only songs in the album not to feature an arrangement that would not be possible to reproduce live with just the two singers. To answer directly to a question asked just above the text box I'm writing this in, if this album was stolen/lost, I wouldn't buy this again. I would instead buy another copy of "Barton Hollow."