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Carbon Glacier

4 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 23.75
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Aug. 31 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B0002JP4J6
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #247,871 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Ether Sings
2. Icebound Stream
3. Rapture
4. Lonely Angel Dust
5. The Cloud Roam
6. Wind Is Blowing Stars
7. Shadow Blues
8. Anne Bonny Rag
9. Snow Camping
10. Chimney Sweeping Man
11. Salvage a Smile

Product Description

Released hot on the heels of her acclaimed first album, 'Troubled By The Fire' (2003), 'Carbon Glacier' is an astonishing follow-up that will ensure her place as one of the world's classic songwriters. 13 tracks. Uncut - Album of the Month. Bella Union. 2004.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Audio CD
I can't stop listening to this woman. I have my work albums and my home albums, and they're the real thing. I'm determined that Laura affords to keep writing and singing , so no ripping in my house. Ms Veirs gets every cent that's coming to her.
Damn, where have I heard that voice before? Kate Rusby? ISB's Licorice? Kim Carnes, of 'Bette Davis eyes' fame? Iris DeMent? Nope - I've gone thru my entire collection, played her down the phone to pals, researched Amazon for any memory jogger, and zilch. I can only conclude that the divine Vox Veirs-ienne has been echoing siren-like inside me down the years, and is finally now made flesh.
Yukk, what a cheesy remark. Exactly the sort of soppy reviewer rubbish that causes me to instantly click on and never go near the artiste in question again.
Ignore my over-purpled prose and just lend this amazing talent an ear - you'll be chuffed you did. Try "Troubled by Fire", track 7, "Tiger Tattoos". Swoon to that quavery voice; listen stunned to the wondrous Bill Frisell's accompaniment (he works more miracles on tracks 9 and 11.)
But don't fall for listening to #2 on the same album - "Bedroom Eyes". You'll play it again, and again, and then the whole album several times, and then you'll roam the streets for any store clued-up enough to stock the equally excellent single, "Cloud Room."
A major talent whose future direction we can't even guess at save to say that it's going to be rewarding to watch her grow. And we caught her in the early days!
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Format: Audio CD
Certain things -"growth" for instance, or "breadth"- cannot be said about artists who are still so young, and only a few albums into their careers. Yet with Ms. Laura Veirs, the exquisite breadth that she is already showing -from Troubled By Fire to Carbon Glacier- and her growth as a performer, are remarkable, however young, however "untenured" she may be. There are, like the prior reviewer says, laments, yet not they are not only that. They are explorations, impressions, musical poems. Jewels as diverse as "Ether Sings," "Lonely Angel Dust," "Shadow Blues," Snow Camping" or "Chimney Sweeping Man" alone justify, and fully prove, Veirs' talent, sensibility, and the astonishing maturity of her compositions. Another important mention is the "dead-on" production by Tucker Martine who does what even some great producers forget to do, at times, he disappeared behind Laura Veirs' music, and yet has taken it to a new poetic and expressive plateau. I personally has heard enough to vow to follow Laura Veirs to whatever layers this album is still to take me, and whatever new depths may it have still unexplored.
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Format: Audio CD
You've spent the day wasting; traipsing through the back alleys and vacant side-streets of the city, peering through the windows of empty thrift stores and boarded-up bookshops. On the route home, you wander through the weekend rush-hour with a disc full of sad songs on your CD-R. You watch the grizzled faces of passers-by, groaning and wincing into their wallets; the sportswear-clad kids making fake male poses to each single girl they see; the dispossessed park-benchers, clutching cheap supermarket booze and silently screaming out, "F--- the world."
There's something comforting about surveying such sights with just a solitary voice reverberating through your headphones, siphoning out the sounds of a thousand strangers' voices and focusing upon one woman's restless muse. It's like hearing a voice that's been lost in the crowd, taken and amplified to drown out all that lies in its periphery until on its own, it sounds lonely, strange and fearlessly beautiful.
Laura Veirs' first album, Troubled by the Fire, was a beguiling infant of a record; a slow hug of furnace-warmth and lilting grace that reveled in romance and lovestruck simplicity, striding down a similar, country-flecked path to songwriters such as Gillian Welch and Lucinda Williams. However, on this follow-up, Veirs treads a vastly different path, producing an album of opaque, wintered laments that evoke the cold, jagged landscape of the Colorado Rockies that formed this Seattle-based songwriter's childhood.
The mood is evoked with arresting results.
Read more ›
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By A Customer on Sept. 17 2004
Format: Audio CD
You like Cat Power's last album ? Please don't miss Laura Veirs' Carbon Glacier. The young singer from Seattle could be Cat's twin but a fraternal one. Laura offers melancholy in simple catchy melodic structures but she's more proactive than her sad (and depressive ?) sister. Grest use of cello instead of piano also. Well, listen to it !
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 19 reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Audible elegance May 26 2005
By L. Fleisher - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Carbon Glacier is one of those rare, perfect albums that drew me in at first listen - clean, intricate guitar work augmented by layers of gorgeous, emotionally evocative melody and visually potent lyrics.

Although I'm admittedly indifferent to most lyrics, unless they are flat-out brilliant or just plain embarrassing, Veirs' render me spellbound, conjuring tangible, poetic images that convey the intimacy of shared, deeply personal thoughts, but somehow manage to avoid being even remotely confessional or self-referential. Her unusual vocal phrasing makes her gently gothic Americana-tinged narratives all the more engaging.

With complex, surprising and fresh arrangements and intelligent instrumentation provided by a group of top-notch collaborators, Veirs easily transcends the trappings of the usually ho-hum "singer-songwriter" genre and emerges as an important and distinctive voice in an ever-swelling sea of musical mediocrity.

It's not every day you discover music that defies easy comparison. Thank god for artists like Laura Veirs who make us hear the world differently.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Haunting and sublime Aug. 9 2004
By Nick Name - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Having tracked this down on the basis of the rave review in "Uncut" proved to be worthwhile indeed. It's a stark and strange album, but (in my opinion) even more beautiful and truthful for that. Visually and verbally, Veirs mixes imagery of arctic cold, dark, even death with light, grace, and life, almost unwaveringly connecting concrete experience of the here- and-now with suggestings of significance which rarely weigh heavily. (There are a few clunker lines, like "the rose is not afraid to blossom..." -- afraid? -- but they are very few, and the overall level of lyricism is so astonishingly evocative and apt that the lapses both grate and confirm the beauty of the rest.) Arrangements, instrumentation, production, and engineering are deceptively simple and gorgeous in a spare way, in which the parts all integrate into a full whole. The sound and effect of this album is unique, and it's hard to imagine it being done differently. Veirs and producer Tucker Martine have great ears. Veirs' voice is both beautiful and haunting, even strange. Obviously, I can't speak for her intentions, but as a listener I hear an occasional quavering and freedom with pitch that I suspect may grate for some but which, to me, make for a wonderful fit with the sound and sense of the words and phrases, and the instrumental context of the songs. The overall effect is transcendent; to this listener, at least, there is a feeling that you really "get it" -- that the visual images, the intellectual content, the emotional impact, and the aural experience are all fully conveyed. The results range from almost scarily wonder-full to earthy; the scale of the songs ranges from cosmic to concrete. And, finally, I've got to say that in my view at least, Veirs comes across as modest, empathetic, generous, affirming, and humane -- never preachy or self-consciously "artistic." She just gives you this stuff (at the price of the album, of course). As with all music that's good and true, this album is likely to be well-received by many for good reason, and perhaps experienced as odd and tangential by others... for good reason. I give it 5 stars on my own scale and for its quality and intentions, but that's not to say that everyone will love it.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A mind adrift March 10 2005
By Jeff Cox - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Laura Veirs is a remarkable poet and songwriter, and on this CD she's working with Tucker Martine, a brilliant arranger and producer. I cannot stop listening to this CD, and the more I listen, the more I want to listen some more. Don't be fooled by previous comments. "Rapture" is one of the most beautiful pop songs I've ever heard. Her mood is shoe-gazing, yes, but way past the shoes down to the depths below. This work is not for the dance floor. It's for the dream space.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Much more than I hoped for Oct. 3 2005
By A. Johnson - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I heard "Fire Snakes" on the Radio from the "Years of Meteors" album. Almost instantly new that I had to seek out this artist and see what else she had produced. Have purchased all her Albums and surprised to find so much I like from each one. Usually when an artist grabs me and I check out their other stuff, I never find anything that I like as much as the first song I heard. With Laura Veirs, I have too many favorites to list. If you hear a song from this artist that you like, you will probably be very happy with the rest of her work. At least that is what I found.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
An innocent, earnest voice enunciating lyrics I can't understand Aug. 16 2010
By Frank Camm - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
An innocent, earnest voice speaks confidently in crisp enunciation, usually quietly. The voice can be locally unsteady, but never without purpose, and it keeps a steady course through the music. Words rise to the surface through her enunciation and her apparent word craft, but I have no idea what the words mean. Settings vary a lot, but tend to larger contrasting atmospheres, building an engaging tension among noise, gauzy drifts of dreamy color, clear enunciation, and some fine finger-picking. Melodies are of a piece. Some verge on Sarah Harmer; most are more conventional with chunks of folk, country blues, but always informed by pop. She will grow on me. [39:27]

Track detail:

1. Ether sings. Square, steady rhythm, up-and-down, sing-song, clear-voiced, earnest voice seems to speak of a mystical world in flat, frank, straight-forward, clear terms. The contrast of many seemingly disjoint elements draws my attention--why do they work together? She is a clear-eyed girl next door with firm Rs.

2. Ice bound stream. More of the same in more extreme form. Vaguely Asian timbres; hard, simple pulse; sing-song line. Frank, direct, crisp vocal delivery. I keep thinking of unicorns and fairies--why?

3. Rapture. A quieter, slower, calmer, less disjoint, disorienting world brings to mind Stephin Merritt. Voice is at once fragile and sure of itself--just right. Interesting tension. Still a bit of New Age in sparkling arpeggios, but never simple enough to fade from attention/interest.

4. Lonely angel dust. Simple, clear tune, words, wordplay. Childlike in the transparency of all, but never simplistic. That said, what do these words really mean?

5. Cloud room. Booming rhythm, firmer rock bottom than above. But words and tune are still drifty, floating much like those above. Many layers of different tones coexist--boom-beat, zoned electronics, sound effects, disembodied back-up voices--with a simple, clear, direct voice in the middle of it all.

6. Wind is blowing stars. Simple voice and simple guitar; the voice twists tones toward being out of tune, but never seems out of control. A similarly whiney solo violin voice enters briefly. Obscure words again, but she pours them out steadily with conviction.

7. Shadow blues. A male voice shadows hers, together with two simple guitar lines. The song is slow, quiet, drifting, but engaging. She seems to sing in an empty space, perhaps only to herself. Slowly rolling. Quiet, gray, resigned feel of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly spaghetti Western music.

8. Anne Bonny rag. Instrumental. Beautiful, simple Hot Tuna-style finger-picked guitar style, joined by comparable toy piano. Lightly rippling, light-hearted blues that a young Taj Mahal might have favored. Then murky New Orleans-style brass.

9. Snow camping. Slow, quiet, confident. Is this the most conventional pop song yet, or am I just growing familiar? The innocence and earnestness of her voice contrasts with a resigned grayness and implied menance of Twin Peaks atmosphere. Scary, as though she is in danger and not aware of it.

10. Chimney sweeping man. Elegant finger picking à la Claudia Schmidt. The song glides quietly in a gauzy atmosphere. She sings firmly and clearly--but what do the words mean?!--in a way that she will be heard through this hazy setting. Strong hints of Kate Bush.

11. Salvage a smile. Harsher than anything yet, with electric guitars, some quietly screeching. This presses forward relentlessly, with her firm commitment right in the middle of it.

12. Blackened amber. Instrumental. A long, slow, grimy, noisy build-up of gritty gauze, then quiet.

13. Riptide. Firm, steady, quietly driving forward with a transparent texture and her voice dominant in it. Confident delivery of words that mean ... what? The setting is a steadily pulsed, finger-picked guitar with a dreamy schmear of quietly whiney textures.