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Album Review: Little Light by Allison Crowe


posted in Album Reviews | 26th September 2008 by Amy Lotsberg, Producer, Collected Sounds (USA)

Album Name: Little Light
Artist: Allison Crowe
Year/Label: 2008 Rubenesque Records Ltd.

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Allison Crowe

Review by Amy Lotsberg Producer of Collected Sounds

First of all, look at that cover photo…could she be any cuter?

Secondly, I don’t really know what else I can say about Allison Crowe that I haven’t said already in the 6 years I’ve been reviewing her CDs and listening to her music. She’s fantastic, I know it, you know it, and since she only gets better as the years progress you can probably guess what I think of this record. I am just having a hard time putting it into words. Luckily she is more creative than I and keeps putting out great records.

‘Disease’ is really cool. It is very dramatic. There is lots of banging on piano and weird rhythms. This is quite different for her. The piano is dizzying. Several times now, while it’s been on shuffle with others, it’s stopped me in my tracks. This is currently my favorite track.

While I am at a loss for new adjectives, she is always coming up with something new. Guess that’s why she writes songs and I don’t!

Another great one Ally!

Track Listing
Listen to track samples
1 Northern Lights
2 Angels
3 Disease
4 Time After Time
5 Little Light
6 Happy People
7 Hold Back
8 Choose to Be
9 Running for Home
10 When I’m Gone
11 Wedding Song


July 03, 2008
Robert Reid
RECORD STAFF Guelph Mercury


Allison Crowe's latest album, Little Light, is an evocative blend of original compositions and covers.

Whether sitting at the piano or strumming the guitar, Crowe's vocals take flight like a lark in clear air. She can keep it light and breezy or dig deep into the social fabric in songs like Disease and Happy People, following in the footsteps of her musical heroes Joni Mitchell and Ani DiFranco.

Recorded in her hometown of Nanaimo, B.C., and her adopted home of Corner Brook, N.L., Little Light is produced by Larry Anschell. Crowe is joined by Dave Baird on bass and Laurent Boucher on percussion.

Luna Kafé record review

Canada - Full Moon 144 - 06/18/08

Allison CroweLittle Light album cover
Little Light
Rubenesque Records

It's time for another record by the talented Allison Crowe and I'm happy about that. Her past albums have all been stellar and this one's no exception.

Vocally she's more restrained this time but there's no mistaking her dynamic voice. The more acoustic sound of this album supports her singing well. "Angels" is a live recording that has some of Crowe's best singing and a supple melody. "Disease" is a long, epic tune with some gorgeous piano playing and a fabulous vocal. Crowe adds dissonant chords in the mix and that adds a welcome tension. The Cyndi Lauper cover "Time After Time" is done live and it really works. "Hold Back" is softer and with a slow, unfurling melody as Crowe sings of being restrained. The cover of Phil Ochs' "When I'm Gone" is moving and a fitting tribute to the great Ochs himself. This is another great album by a truly marvelous artist.

Copyright © 2008 Anna Maria Stjärnell

© 2008 FuzzLogic

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Allison Crowe: Little Light


Allison Crowe's new album Little Light will be released on May 2nd. I posted a song from the new album last week and just received my advance of the CD. Though in some ways the new album plays like a sequel to This Little Bird, the inclusion of live recordings and the general organic style are closer to her awesome Live At Wood Hall collection. However, the earnest howls of the past often take a backseat in this song cycle to a more somber maturity in the vein of Joni Mitchell. If this change in style is a portent of things to come, I'll miss hearing Allison's unearthly keens rip their way out of her throat... though I understand that's the price that sometimes must be paid for a songwriter's talent to grow.

Little Light opens with "Northern Lights", a gentle acoustic ballad that I posted last July from Allison's performance at the John Lennon Northern Lights Festival in Durness, Scotland. Though I must say I love when Allison belts out the big notes, there's a quiet beauty about the tune that better serves the emotion of the lyrics. And Crowe does let out one wail toward the end of the song.

"Angels" and the cover of Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time" were recorded live in Canada in 2006. She also tackles Matthew Good's "Running for Home" and Phil Ochs' "When I'm Gone", replacing the dry wistfulness of the better known Ani Difranco rendition with her signature bleeding heart interpretation. I believe that Allison Crowe is the only living person - with the possible exception of Glen Hansard - that can pour their whole being into any cover and make it sound like an entirely new song.

The fervent, mesmeric, piano hammering extended version of "Disease" - originally featured on Live At Wood Hall - is a live recording from last year. "Happy People" begins with some wry humor, but eventually the song becomes possessed as Allison's heartfelt cries mix with a backing choir of voices. As I told her manager when I first heard "Hold Back", I would chew my arm off to sing like Allison. Though I guess that would make it difficult to shred a piano like she does, which seems to be half the fun.

Allison Crowe - Northern Lights (mp3)
Allison Crowe - Disease (mp3)
Allison Crowe - Hold Back (mp3)

Allison Crowe Official Site

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   Little Light: Album Review

Allison Crowe is one of those rare artists that always produces stellar quality music.  She has accomplished this again with her newest offering "Little Light".  I just purchased this album yesterday and I already can't stop playing it.  It's going to be on permanent rotation in my collection.  Allison is a multi-talented instrumentalist and a stunning vocalist.  Little Light displays a different side of Allison's writing, featuring her both on acoustic guitar  as well as piano.  Allison displays a different vocal styling when she plays guitar.  Her cover of Time After Time made famous by Cyndi Lauper is brilliant, Running for Home by the Matthew Good Band is exceptional, as well as Allison's own original tunes.  Her originals such as Wedding Song are absolutely beautiful.  Wedding Song is one of her most poignant songs to date, some of my favorites include: Northern Lights, Angels, Disease, Time After Time, Hold Back and Choose to Be.  I love all the selections on this album, they  are beautiful.  If you're in to acoustic music, buy this album.  Definitely an album you want to add to your collection if you're an Allison Crowe fan! Keep making that beautiful music, Allison!

Marissa Manzino, Bronxville artist