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Thorns [Enhanced]

Thorns Audio CD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 8.46
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Product Details

1. Runaway Feeling
2. I Can't Remember
3. Blue
4. Think It Over
5. Thorns
6. No Blue Sky
7. Now I Know
8. Dragonfly
9. Long, Sweet Summer Night
10. I Told You
11. Such A Shame
12. I Set The World On Fire
13. Among The Living

Product Description


If ever a group's moniker were wrapped in florid irony, surely it's this bright, buoyant summit meeting of contemporary popmeisters Matthew Sweet, Shawn Mullins, and Pete Droge. Backed by an all-star studio ensemble that includes Jim Keltner, Greg Leisz, Brendan O'Brien, and Roy Bittan, the three nominally insulated musicians don't so much claim the legacy of Crosby, Stills & Nash on the harmonic riches of "Think it Over" and glorious "Now I Know" (equally hard to imagine the baby-boom icons wrapping themselves around the chunky funk of the title track here or the pointed impressionistic allegory of "Dragonfly") as find a musical common ground that can't help but echo history in its folk-rooted vocal glories, yet forges a higher, ego-sublimating higher ground that's anything but nostalgic. Fans of the three musicians may recognize their various sensibilities at work throughout, but it's a rewarding collaboration that virtually defies deconstruction. Don't be misled by the name--this is a beautiful, musically fragrant bouquet. --Jerry McCulley

Product Description

The Thorns ~ The Thorns

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The whole is as good as the sum of the parts Dec 2 2003
Format:Audio CD
The Thorns began as something of an experiment: three well-established solo artists got together and created a trio in which none would be the band's focal point. There would be no lead singer; instead all three artists would sing nearly all the lines in all the songs. None of the three even wanted to be standing in the middle during a video shoot.
Instead, Shawn Mullins, Matthew Sweet, and Pete Droge would leave the solo spotlight behind and attempt to be (or at least appear) unified in everything. The enhanced CD includes a nice interview with the band wherein they talk about their efforts to share the spotlight evenly. Together the three wrote the songs on this album while staying in a reclusive mountain hideaway. None of the band claims the spotlight or asserts a leadership role. Truly The Thorns seem like three guys who began music for nothing more the love of it, have tasted some success as solo singer-songwriters, and wanted to try something new in an evenly shared endeavor.
The end result is this "debut" album, replete with American roots rock, acoustically based and filled with pleasant melodic tracks and plenty of harmonizing vocals. While the CD tends to meander or even plateau in a few places, these moments only accentuate the general relaxing, moderate, soothing pace and feel of the album. The frequent comparisons of The Thorns to Crosby, Stills, & Nash are understandable, given the sound of the music on this album, but not valid unless this new trio reaches the record of commercial success and sociopolitical influence their predecessors attained.
It's hard not to listen to this disc and believe these guys are just trying to have fun making music, as they love to do, in a somewhat different environment.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant, a little bland, but very good. Oct. 8 2003
Format:Audio CD
This will be one of my shorter reviews, though still a bit lengthy in comparison to others listed here. In any case, I found this to be an enjoyable listen, though not groundbreaking. Lush harmonies, appropriate melody arrangements, and above par lyrics make this a four star outing.
The packaging here is first class. I love the booklet material, there are band/single photos, legible lyrics (why put them in there if you can't read them; take note Hall & Oates (most recent album)) and the usual credits. Very pleased.
1. Runaway Feeling: Background harmonies have a Beach Boy feel, but not in a good way. This is a straight-ahead folk rock styled opener that fits perfectly at the beginning of this journey.
2. I Can't Remember: This is the first single, as everyone probably knows, and is the best cut on the cd. Not that the others don't stack up, but this is instantly memorable and very catchy. Universal lyrics that almost anyone alive can relate to, and the blending of these three distinctive voices certainly are a highlight here.
3. Blue: Decent cover that keeps the flow of the album going. Not a personal favorite, but not a bad effort either.
4. Think It Over: This is a great example for the title of my review. Pleasant, a little bland, but very good. This one just kind of blends into the rest of the album, though I seldom skip it.
5. Thorns: Not a personal favorite, but it was necessary to step things up a bit at this point in the album. Otherwise I'm afraid I might have needed a wake up call. It's a little experimental, more rock than the rest of the cd, and a needed breath of fresh air.
6. No Blue Sky: Shawn Mullins turns in his best vocal contribution on this track.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Harmonies.....Alive And Well!!! Sept. 16 2003
Format:Audio CD
I guess big brothers are good for something after all. Sure, they tease and torment you growing up, but every once in a while they do something cool...like introduce you to great music. I have to thank my two older brothers for turning me on to, among others, the Beatles, the Stones, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Joan Armatrading...and now The Thorns. A minor fan of Matthew Sweet's, I would never have picked this disc up on my own. Yet this stunning debut, awash in harmonies reminiscent of such vocal greats as the Bee Gees, the Beach Boys, the Mamas & the Papas, Fleetwood Mac and, especially, CSN is one of the most pleasant surprises of the year. Sweet and bandmates Pete Droge and Shawn Mullins open the disc with the powerful "Runaway Feeling." With it's Byrds-esque verses and ringing choruses, this song is the musical offspring of 70's California folk rock and East Coast power pop. I can think of only one other album this year - Fleetwood Mac's SAY YOU WILL - that opens on such a strong note. Next up is the Bee Gee-flavored "I Can't Remember." Once again, the vocals soar, while the chorus cuts deep ("I can't remember/The last time/You looked me in the eye/I can't remember/A way to make you cry"). The group takes the Jayhawk's "Blue" and makes it their own. Just listen to those high notes when they hit the word "blue"! If you played "Think It Over" to a dozen people and told them it was an old CSN cut, I bet at least five of them would ask "Which album?" With it's loose, country-tinged beat, the track has a nice, mellow/relaxed groove to it. Things do a 180 on the next cut, the disc's exuberant (semi) title track, "Thorns." A lot of people have said the song stands out like a sore thumb, and I'd say "Good for it! Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars On the cheap
There's a prophetic line at the start of the second track, "I Can't Remember": "I'm not gonna lie to you, something is missing. Read more
Published on June 18 2004 by Richard Nelson
1.0 out of 5 stars This album makes me want to hurt innocent people
This is one dull disc. I'm a fan of mellow music, but hearing these three guys all singing at the same time on every song made me instantly think of CSN&Y, a band I strongly... Read more
Published on April 14 2004 by Fats Crappernappy
2.0 out of 5 stars 2-1/2 stars -- The point of this album is...?
For some reason or another, Matthew Sweet, Pete Droge and Shawn Mullins decided to form the supergroup known as The Thorns. Read more
Published on March 16 2004 by Anthony Rupert
5.0 out of 5 stars well done
good album; songs are poetry and performed well; well worth the twelve bucks to buy the album; personal favorite song: i set the world on fire
Published on Jan. 10 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth another listen!
I have been a long time Matthew Sweet fan, his CD Girlfriend is one of my all time favorites, so when I saw The Thorns CD at Best Buy for $9.99, I said "why not? Read more
Published on Jan. 7 2004 by Sean T. Rayburn
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Music to listen to with a cup of coffee or relax to
Finally a new group ( Well, seasoned pros playing together )that can ALL sing and Harmonies that bring back CSN and others we all enjoyed. Read more
Published on Dec 31 2003 by John Lindh
5.0 out of 5 stars See my review of the Bonus CD version, if interested.
Ahh, HERE'S where everyone's reviews are hiding! <grin> Good to see the large numbers of mostly positive reviews here, although I'm a bit put off by the numbers of people... Read more
Published on Dec 25 2003 by Oliasdoug
5.0 out of 5 stars Crosby Stills Nash Young and Petty?
A great album, the like of which are rare these days. Hard to tell who might have influenced them more CSN&Y or Petty, or maybe the Eagles, but really who cares, simply put it... Read more
Published on Nov. 6 2003 by James Peak
4.0 out of 5 stars It would be hard not to like it
As a huge Shawn Mullins fan who thinks anything he puts out is more than great, I heard about the Thorns and bought it. Read more
Published on Oct. 21 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Takes maturity to appreciate
Hey, I love this album. No, I'm not gung-ho about every song (I really don't care for "Dragonfly"), but it is a truly solid first effort from three talented artists. Read more
Published on Oct. 20 2003 by Marnie
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