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What Is Free To A Good Home? [EP]

Emily and the Soft Skel Haines , Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 8.58 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

What Is Free To A Good Home? + Knives Dont Have Your Back + Grow Up And Blow Away
Price For All Three: CDN$ 37.69

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Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought


Product Details


1. Rowboat
2. The Bank
3. Telethon
4. Bottom Of the World
5. Sprig
6. Mostly Waiting

Product Description

Amazon.ca

A companion piece to Knives Don't Have Your Back, this EP consists of five new songs and a remix. The mellow trumpets opening "Rowboat" signify that this is not the detached new-wave-inspired rock of Metric or the sprawling experimentation of Broken Social Scene. The album is largely Haines at a piano singing, with varied (but subtle) accompaniment. This is welcome, given her clever platitudes, enthralling voice, and sheer songwriting ability. As with Knives, the album art is an homage one of her late father Paul Haines' collaborations with Carla Bley (Tropic Appetites), and its title borrowed from his poem for Robert Wyatt. The songs are not throwaways from the Knives session by any means. "Bank" is reminiscent of Elliot Smith in its recording and in Haines' quiet conviction, though she's more likely to drop a comic cultural reference: "Just like Huey Lewis--I need a new drug that does what it should," she opines as the band swings lightly. "Bottom of the World" is a brainy minor dirge, rounded out with cello accompaniment. "Sprig," taking its lyrics from another of dad's poems, is the requisite soundscape, draped with noise, but still carrying the intimate, sorrowful feel that dominates the EP. A dub-styled remix of Knives' "Mostly Waving" follows, and with its electronic dance floor-ready beat ends the EP on a high note (and one more reminiscent of her output with Metric). Haines' talent as a musician and lyricist is on full display here, and it's a fine addition to her ever-growing oeuvre. --Jason Pace

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Where can my one love be? Aug. 11 2007
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Emily Haines is best known as the voice of Metric and some Broken Social Scene, but she's not as well-known for her solo work, as Emily Haines & the Soft Skeleton. "What Is Free to a Good Home?" shows her maturation as an artist -- it's indie pop with jazz sensibilities, and a greater feeling of maturity than either of her solo albums.

It opens with a gentle horn solo, and gets joined by a trickling piano melody. "I've been told I'm living a lie/I've been told all my life," Haines croons. "Getting it wrong almost every time/Where else, where else am I?/Living alone in my head... Rowboat left in the rain/Drifting out on the lake/Where could my one love be?"

It's followed by the catchier, piano-driven "Bank" and a pair of mournful little ballads ("When the daylight's like flourescent lights/i'm going to take my time night by night/I hang my hands over your eyes to hide"). Rounding off the EP is "Sprig," a weirdly breathy, on-and-off little pop song, and finally a slow jazz-funky remix of "Mostly Waving."

"What Is Free to a Good Home?" is probably the most solid work that Haines has done in her solo career -- it's short, but doesn't really have a dud on it. Okay, "Sprig" fits in like a square peg, but it's an experimental oasis in an EP crammed with slow, smooth pop flavoured with jazz.

Most of the instrumentation is Haines playing the piano, which she does pretty uniformly in a smooth, mellow manner, backed by some jazzy drums and a wall of mellow brass, which always sound like they're being played at a funeral. And occasionally some synth in "Sprig," which has some subtle, UFO-landing sound effects woven in. And wind chimes.

But the star of all this is Haines' voice -- smooth, girlish and weary, like a disenchanted lover who's watching the rain.
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haines does it again, but better! July 30 2007
By Shane Carpenter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
So here we have another release from Emily and the Soft Skeleton. I can say without reservation that this EP is a masterpiece. I was lukewarm on Knives Don't Have Your Back. Yeah it had some gems, but there were some misses as well. This EP is all hits. The songwriting is more mature; the musical arrangements are lush; and Emily sounds as good as ever. I wish she waited and put these songs with the stronger songs on the Knives CD... Man that would've been an album for the ages. But please, don't sleep on this album. It may only be 5 songs (+ one remix), but they are definitely songs you want to have in your collection.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emily Haines is a genius. Sept. 3 2007
By Beethoven Street - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
My daughter (15) turned me on to Emily Haines, and now we listen to her in the car wherever we're going: we live in Los Angeles, so we're in the car a lot. Her courage, her intelligence, and her sheer momentum give us great joy. She is a genius.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Where could my one love be? Aug. 6 2007
By E. A Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Emily Haines is best known as the voice of Metric and some Broken Social Scene, but she's not as well-known for her solo work, as Emily Haines & the Soft Skeleton. "What Is Free to a Good Home?" shows her maturation as an artist -- it's indie pop with jazz sensibilities, and a greater feeling of maturity than either of her solo albums.

It opens with a gentle horn solo, and gets joined by a trickling piano melody. "I've been told I'm living a lie/I've been told all my life," Haines croons. "Getting it wrong almost every time/Where else, where else am I?/Living alone in my head... Rowboat left in the rain/Drifting out on the lake/Where could my one love be?"

It's followed by the catchier, piano-driven "Bank" and a pair of mournful little ballads ("When the daylight's like flourescent lights/i'm going to take my time night by night/I hang my hands over your eyes to hide"). Rounding off the EP is "Sprig," a weirdly breathy, on-and-off little pop song, and finally a slow jazz-funky remix of "Mostly Waving."

"What Is Free to a Good Home?" is probably the most solid work that Haines has done in her solo career -- it's short, but doesn't really have a dud on it. Okay, "Sprig" fits in like a square peg, but it's an experimental oasis in an EP crammed with slow, smooth pop flavoured with jazz.

Most of the instrumentation is Haines playing the piano, which she does pretty uniformly in a smooth, mellow manner, backed by some jazzy drums and a wall of mellow brass, which always sound like they're being played at a funeral. And occasionally some synth in "Sprig," which has some subtle, UFO-landing sound effects woven in. And wind chimes.

But the star of all this is Haines' voice -- smooth, girlish and weary, like a disenchanted lover who's watching the rain. The songs she sings back up this feeling, with deceptively simple lyrics ("So quiet, they could hear each other's thinking, denying/Garner interest, each other's thinking, denying..."), full of melancholy, love and the cruelty of others ("What did I do? Why didn't I get into your cool crew?").

"What Is Free to a Good Home?" shows Haines' further maturation as a musician and songwriter, and builds on her solid-but-not-quite-great full-length albums. Definitely a must-buy.
5.0 out of 5 stars what is free to a good home? not an emily haines cd. Jan. 27 2009
By AlexM - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
in fact a good home will have to shell out 10 bucks for 5 new songs and 1 remix. but emily, with music like this, you must know that the world is yours. emily is a legend in the making. courtney love and bob dylan bow down before her. listen and you'll agree.
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful! Oct. 4 2008
By Nichole Herschler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
My favorite part of any thing she's a part of (Metric, Broken Social Scene, and Stars) is Emily Haines. She has a killer voice and writes excellent lyrics. I love every track on this album. If you haven't heard her solo stuff before (or even if you have) and enjoy any of the above bands, don't hesitate making this purchase.
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