Anais Mitchell
Young Man in America


4.0
excellent

Review

by Andru Okenuf USER (32 Reviews)
August 2nd, 2012 | 12 replies | 2,691 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Straightforward but full of passion, Anais’ latest effort is a gorgeous composition that shows she’s as capable as anyone making folk music today

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

Even though she’s not a household name, Anais Mitchell has been doing this for a while. Growing up on a farm in Addison County, Vermont, she began writing and performing songs in 1998 at the age of 17 and recorded her first album ‘The Song They Sang... When Rome Fell’ in a single afternoon in 2002. Her 2010 release ‘Hadestown’, a concept album dealing with the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, included collaborations from Ani DiFranco, Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and Ben Knox Miller of The Low Anthem, amongst others.

Taking a step back from her foray into folk opera, Mitchell’s latest effort, 'Young Man in America’ is very organic and approachable. As a storyteller, she’s in top form, weaving in themes from rural America and drawing from her personal experience throughout the album. In the soft, contemplative opening tracks Wilderland and Young Man in America, she introduces the powerful imagery of fathers as the shepherds of their families and mothers as shelter. Father shepherd guides the young man throughout the LP, while mother shelter appears more rarely, but always to comfort and support.

“Nothing’s gonna stop me now”, she repeats in Coming Down before continuing, “I think I’m coming down”. Powerfully bringing back down to earth any manic energy in the air and bringing emotions into a new serene and calm atmosphere, this song was covered by Bon Iver on their recent tour. This track serves as the climax of the 1st half of the album and while strong as a standalone track fits perfectly into the context of the songs surrounding it.

Aside from Venus, which sounds like a cheap take on The Grateful Dead’s Sugar Magnolia, the album is very consistent, with the rising Dying Day and softer Tailor showing opposite ends of an emotional spectrum only she seems capable of conveying. And reeling it all in are You are Forgiven and Ships, which serve as the final bit of heat to melt hearts into a carefree bliss.

While I personally cannot relate to much of the rural imagery conveyed and am not enough of an authority on folk music to comment on particular styles she explores, this is an album that anyone can enjoy. Whether you’re trying to calm yourself down after a long day or simply want to admire the beautiful pipes of the lead singer, this LP will not disappoint.



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user ratings (19)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
aok
August 1st 2012



4410 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This took me long enough to write -- not sure how I feel about it now that it's out there. But you should totally listen to it!

Coming Down ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmwtQXRRiWg )

Young Man in America ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jEPwuSYG6Y )

Ships - abridged ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpwLnFLyjjc )

Digging: Aphex Twin - Syro

mindleviticus
August 1st 2012



8220 Comments


Sweet review man, pos'd.

I'm not really interested in this kind of music so I don't think I'll listen to the whole thing but I'll check out a few songs from it

aok
August 2nd 2012



4410 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

mx gave this a 4.5 tho so it's gotta be amazing

MO
August 2nd 2012



18514 Comments


ooo new folk nice, good review man

Chrisjon89
August 2nd 2012



3513 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good review man. pos'd. Only listened once so far but I enjoyed it. Still gotta check Hadestown.

mindleviticus
August 2nd 2012



8220 Comments


this is actually pretty good, I may check out the whole thing then. : )

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
August 2nd 2012



50088 Comments


How did you put so many albums in the recommended by reviewer I thought you could only put like 4 unless you're staff

Digging: Tiny Moving Parts - Pleasant Living

aok
August 2nd 2012



4410 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

each time you edit it you can put out an additional 3. dunno if there's actually even a cap on the total number lol

Eclecticist
December 27th 2012



3863 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Anus Mitchell

aok
December 27th 2012



4410 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

so mature butcheredchildren. so mature

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
December 28th 2012



4410 Comments


Congrats on the feature, aokuneff!
POS'd on the review.

Digging: Shabazz Palaces - Lese Majesty

WeepingBanana
December 28th 2012



10099 Comments


is that sean penn on the cover?



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