Joyfully Caught In Allison Crowe's "Spiral"
April 15th, 2010 · Music
“Spiral” – Great Music And More
Having spent most of the past two days playing and replaying the Allison Crowe “Spiral” CD, I’ve come to certain conclusions:
1. “Spiral” is an outstanding album. That’s hardly a surprise. The album features a great voice, great song selections, and great arrangements. What’s not to like?
2. Listening to the CD renders an already obvious point unavoidable: newcomers to Allison Crowe should be granted access to her music only on the condition that their first experience is listening to an entire album. Don’t get me wrong – there are several tracks that would, in the era of 45 rpm records, have qualified as hit singles. But, listening to a song or two from “Spiral” is impressive; listening to the entire album in one sitting is overwhelming – in a good way.
3. The “Spiral” CD not only sounds right, it looks right and feels right. Having owned too many of the same albums in too many conformations, including vinyl records, cassettes, 8-tracks, reel-to-reel recordings, CDs, and downloaded files with any number of suffixes (MP3, WAV, AIFF, AU, FLAC, AAC, MPEG-4, WMA, …), I am rarely swayed by format nostalgia, but in this case, the physical CD itself seems a better fit to the album than invisible computer files. It is especially gratifying to discover that the art and the gatefold design evokes the the sense of those albums I bought in the 1960s and 1970s when examining the graphics, reading the liner notes, and considering their implications vis-à-vis the music inside was an essential element in listening to that new record (see graphic below; click on image for best viewing).
The concern shown in this quality of design reflects parallel concerns and respect for the music and for the buyer’s experience.
“Dearly” and “Chelsea Hotel #2″ By Allison Crowe
Yes, I am aware of the irony of offering videos of two tracks from the album immediately subsequent to recommending one listen to the entire album at once as well as gazing upon, perusing, and fondling the CD sleeve lavish. I can deal with it.
Allison Crowe – Dearly (from Spiral)
Video from Adrian22
Allison Crowe – Chelsea Hotel No.2 (from Spiral)
Video from Adrian22
All of the tracks from “Spiral” may be viewed on video at YouTube.
“Spiral,” in CD or MP3 formats, can be purchased at Allison Crowe’s site.
Tags: allison crowe