Joanna Newsom
The Milk-Eyed Mender


4.5
superb

Review

by Victoria Michelle Coia USER (12 Reviews)
January 3rd, 2011 | 16 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Joanna Newsom's proves with The Milk Eyed Mender that she is a singer/songwriter to be reckoned with.

Before I had even heard Joanna Newsom’s music I saw a picture of her and I thought to myself what an oddly attractive woman. She had her hair in pigtails and her eyes had a very beautiful color to them . I had no idea that she sounded like a squawking parrot and a squirrel combined. However, there is something interesting about Newsom’s music that makes it stand above other female folk singers’ music of her generation. Maybe it is her voice or maybe it is her harp and piano playing skills, but I think it is her storytelling ability that sets her apart from other folk singer/songwriters.

Newsom has the capability to tell a wonderful story on just about any subject that comes across her mind . Her lyrics are all over the place and it shows her versatility as a songwriter. At times they are wonderfully romantic, “Your skin is something I stir into my tea,” and other times her lyrics are providing wise advice, “Never get so attached to a poem you forget truth lacks lyricism; never draw so close to the heat that you forget to eat.” As wonderful as a songwriter Newsom is what helps make her music even more interesting is the use of both a harp and piano.

Right away it’s easy to tell that Newsom isn’t the most technical harpist or pianist, but it really doesn’t hurt the music because the music that is being playing doesn’t call for it. In fact, it helps the music as a whole because this way the harp or piano playing doesn’t distract the listener from her lyrics. While Newsom isn’t the most technical or best harp player she certainly knows how to play the harp and piano. Songs such as “Bridges and Balloons” and “Inflammatory Writ” wonderfully display the talent Newsom has at both instruments. However, Newsom knows that she is a songwriter first and The Milk Eyed Mender wonderfully displays it.

It’s true at times The Milk Eyed Mender can be grating at times because Newsom doesn’t have a gentle voice at all, and at times her voice can be quite comical on songs such as “Sadie”. Luckily, Newsom is a wonderful songwriter and a talented harpist and pianist, and she puts it on full display with her debut album. She also knows how to wonderfully arrange songs and make them addicting. The Milk Eyed Mender is an excellent debut from Joanna Newsom and a blueprint for what is to come in the future.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
conradtao
Emeritus
January 4th 2011


2090 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Not a bad review. Your last paragraph needs some commas, though. It reads almost breathlessly.

cvlts
January 4th 2011


8977 Comments


...what an oddly attractive woman.

so you're into chicks?

Defeater
January 4th 2011


5782 Comments


is this album title referring to her breasts

Gyromania
January 4th 2011


15973 Comments


What do you think?

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
January 4th 2011


7026 Comments


Joanna Newsom is my favorite artist but I can't get much enjoyment out of this album. Vocals kill it.

couldwinarabbit
January 4th 2011


6996 Comments


album is...ok.

GeorgeCostanza
January 4th 2011


196 Comments


this album is a fucking abomination

read my 1.5 review of it to see a thorough debunking of all the reasons typically given for thinking this is worth anything at all

GeorgeCostanza
January 4th 2011


196 Comments


and it's not a piano, it's a harpsichord

couldwinarabbit
January 4th 2011


6996 Comments


what do you think of Ys?

conradtao
Emeritus
January 4th 2011


2090 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Inflammatory Writ most definitely has a piano.

GeorgeCostanza
January 4th 2011


196 Comments


Ys is the only thing Newsom has ever done that is worth listening to. even then it's clumsy and overwrought in parts

i'd give it a 3

her latest triple-disc fiasco i'd give either a 2 or a 2.5

if you want to listen to good harp music, listen to some pieces by Carlos Salzedo and Marcel Grandjany. fuck this kiddie shit

couldwinarabbit
January 4th 2011


6996 Comments


god you are like the elite people on rym.

Chrisjon89
January 4th 2011


3833 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review. I didn't mind this but prefer her other two albums.

GeorgeCostanza
January 4th 2011


196 Comments


yeah, you're right that Inflammatory Writ has piano

i think i just can't get the stupid harpsichord parts on this album out of my head. the trauma from listening to them has had them forever burned into my brain

AggravatedYeti
January 4th 2011


7685 Comments


MJ at times it seems like you spend your days deliberately listening to music you don't like in an effort to justify to yourself why you hate it.

Defeater
January 4th 2011


5782 Comments


huh











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