5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sophomore album
Caitlin Cary may not have took the world by storm like Ryan Adams did, but album by album she is slowly building a reputation as an artist to watch for. Cary is also from the now defunct group Whiskeytown, and she holds her own on this sophomore album, that builds on the sound of her first album WHILE YOU WEREN'T LOOKING. The album has some great songs all throughout, and...
Published on May 14 2004 by Jake Z
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I'd hoped it to be
Being a big Whiskeytown and Jayhawk fan I was looking forward to a tastey little treat. Cary comes in loud and clear but the rest of the band and guests don't ever get a chance to shine. Cary has a nice voice and all but if you are going to have Mary Chapin Carpenter harmonize on a few songs, we'd like to be able to hear her. Same goes for Jen Gunderman. Who does'nt want...
Published on May 8 2003 by Take me to my car
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very Nice!,
This review is from: I M Staying Out (Audio CD)I really enjoyed Ms. Cary's work with Whiskeytown, and her first solo LP, "While You Weren't Looking." This cd is quite good-strong song writing, gentle vocals that play well off of the musical arrangements, and a wonderful backing band. Among the topics she writes about are a broken marriage, sleeping in on Sunday with your lover, about letting your feelings out, a friend she's lost contact with, and she does it in a way that really makes you think about your own life. There's a nice mix of folk, rock, pop and country-sometimes within the same song like "Sleeping in on Sunday." The one straight up country song is called "Please Break My Heart" and it is a real gem. I can imagine Patsy Cline singing this song if she were still alive! "Cello Girl" is a rock song that really grows on you with repeated listens-it's one of my favorite songs on the cd. The closing song is called "I Want To Learn To Waltz With You," and it's the only one that Ms. Cary didn't write herself. It's a song of real grace and beauty, and she does a beautiful version of it here. (Just for the record, Peter Holsapple wrote it, and it was performed by his former band The Continental Drifters on the cd Vermilion.) A must have for all Caitlin Cary fans, and anyone that enjoys well-thought out songs that give equal prominence to the vocals, lyrical content, and the music that accompanies it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sophomore album,
This review is from: I M Staying Out (Audio CD)Caitlin Cary may not have took the world by storm like Ryan Adams did, but album by album she is slowly building a reputation as an artist to watch for. Cary is also from the now defunct group Whiskeytown, and she holds her own on this sophomore album, that builds on the sound of her first album WHILE YOU WEREN'T LOOKING. The album has some great songs all throughout, and some truly memorable songwriting that is strong and full of depth and warmth. The album is a combination of folk, pop, soul, and country music. Mary Chapin Carpenter guests on the album, which is great. There are many standouts here but my favorites are "Empty Rooms", the title track, "You Don't Have To Hide", "Cello Girl", "The Next One", and "Please Break My Heart". Check it out!
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites this year,
This review is from: I M Staying Out (Audio CD)Caitlin Cary originally was a part of the alt-country band Whiskeytown. When the band disbanded, Caitlin and fellow member Ryan Adams went solo. Caitlin's first album WHILE YOU WERENT LOOKING garnered praise and good reviews all around. In the spring of 2003 she returned with her new album IM STAYING OUT. By far my favorite track on the album is the uptempo rocker "Cello Girl", a song about remembering someone from the past and wondering what they are up to these days, trying to remember their name. "Beauty Fades Away" is the prettiest song on the album, that ponders the idea of everlasting love and if it will remain true after beauty has faded. "The Next One" is another great track, about being in transition waiting to fall in love with someone again. "Sleepin In On Sunday" is one of the better tracks of the album, pretty self explanatory about a lazy afternoon. "In A While" is a nice slow alt-country type song about disapointed expectations. The songs are very relatable to real life and easy to get lost in. Many of the songs stick in my head, make me hum or sing along. "You Don't Have To Hide" is a great song about asking a lover to open up. Other highlights include "Empty Rooms", "Lorraine Today", "I Want To Learn To Waltz With You" and "Please Break My Heart". Caitlin covers a variety of emotions on this album and it's one of my favorites from 2003 thus far.
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Brilliant Record,
This review is from: I M Staying Out (Audio CD)Caitlin Cary's solo debut last year following her tour with Whiskeytown was such a stunning achievement; it was hard to fathom how she could surpass it. The answer is she couldn't. But she equaled it with "I'm Staying Out" (Yep Roc), a disc that expands on the musical foundation of her debut.
Like her first record, ""Staying Out" opens with a beautiful tune, "Empty Rooms," showcasing Cary's voice and a backing band that includes former Jayhawks' keyboard player Jen Gunderman, who contributes nice touches throughout. There are fine contributions from several guests including Mary Chapin Carpenter, Don Dixon, Springsteen cellist Jane Scarpantoni and pop master Mitch Easter.
Chris Stamey is back behind the producer's console, but this is a more varied record sonically, grounded by Cary's honeyed vocals. "Please Break My Heart" is a good ol' country waltz k.d. lang would die to record. "You Don't Have to Hide" and "Cello Girl" are catchy rockers. "In a While" is a piano-framed meditation on loss.
Most of the songs center around relationships and transitions. In "Beauty Fades Away," Cary has to the courage to wonder aloud whether a lover will still be there in the dimming of the day. In "Empty Rooms," a woman steels herself, refusing to cry after being abandoned. On "Sleepin' In on Sunday," she celebrates the leisure of a weekend morning -- and afternoon -- in his arms.
From beginning to end, "I'm Staying Out" is a fine sophomore outing, appealing to mainstream pop listeners as well as alt country devotees.
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging, some great songwriting,
This review is from: I M Staying Out (Audio CD)I picked out this CD based on an Entertainment Weekly review, and haven't regretted it. My criteria for "good album" is simple: I listen to it non-stop while I'm at work, and if some of the tunes stick in my head, and that's a good thing, then it's a good album.
"I'm Staying Out" is full of some lovely tunes, and Cary's songwriting is wonderful. Well-produced, this album puts the emphasis on Cary's vocal interpretation and emotional lyrics. This album has some great guest stars doing backup vocals on it, but if you want to listen to those guest stars, check out their solo albums: the focus here is on Cary.
"Empty Rooms," the first song on the album, is a slower, melodic effort about a woman recovering from a broken marriage. The lyrics poignantly and vividly sketch for us a woman left "with an empty womb, a beautiful house full of empty rooms." The track is one that features Mary Chapin Carpenter on backup vocals, but the emphasis here is on "backup."
The second track, "Sleepin' in on Sundays," is one of the better songs on the album. A song for anyone that's ever relaxed a Sunday away with a loved one, the production and melody perfectly recall a lazy Sunday.
"You Don't Have to Hide" is slightly more upbeat tune, with someone encouraging a lover to open up and stop hiding their pain. Not one of my favorites on the album, but the lyrics definitely recall the uncertainty of opening oneself up in a relationship.
The fourth track, "The Next One," is about how lonely we can all be as we search desperately for that special someone. The production and melody vividly sketch the feeling of loneliness. A poignant, slower tune -- Cary does a great job of making us feel the hope: "Maybe the next one will be the best one."
The name of "Please Break My Heart" is pretty self-explanatory. The tune is a loping country, and the song is a plea for a lover who just keeps on breaking hearts.
I didn't like "Cello Girl" when I first heard it, but it's grown on me, and now it's one of the tunes I'm most stuck on. It's a more upbeat tune, with a heavier rock beat. It's a song about remembering someone, and envisioning what they're doing now. "What -was- her name?" Includes some great sampled cello.
"Beauty Fades Away" is one of the more beautiful tunes on the album, with a melody that moves around a bit more and that really sticks in your head. The lyrics reflect the fear we all have long-term relationships: "Will you still be the one when beauty fades away?"
The title track, "I'm Staying Out," is another more loping alt-country tune that recalls the lure of the night and the vague sadness and worry we feel when we leave someone at home.
"Lorraine Today" is another more upbeat rock tune, about a mother worried about her daughter and the dubious charms of her daughter's father. Maybe even about the fear a mother has for her daughter when she's about to get married, after her own experience with a bad marriage. Some great backing vocals on this one.
The second-to-last track, "In a While," is a slower alt-country tune about disappointed expectations. Another tune that has grown on me -- it's sweet and sad and really sticks with you.
The final track, "I Want to Waltz with You," is one of the better tunes on the album. Great tune, wonderful arrangement, and good interpretation. This is a cover of a tune by Peter Holsapple, recorded by the Continental Drifters on their 1999 album.
All in all, I'm very impressed with this album, and will be picking up her first full-length album as well. Some of the tunes seem to flow into each other a bit too much, and those looking for "duets" rather than "backup vocals" from big name guest stars are going to be disappointed. But all in all, good production, accomplished singing, great backup singers, and some polished, evocative song-writing.
4.0 out of 5 stars Confident album of country-folk-rock from Whiskeytown alum,
This review is from: I M Staying Out (Audio CD)As a fiddler and background singer, Cary contributed the odd song to Whiskeytown, but as a solo artist she sings lead with a strong, confident voice, and writes intimate portraits of troubled relationships. Her voice is a rich combination of Natalie Merchant's tone and Mary Chapin Carpenter's folkie phrasing, but with a twangy edge. Her vocals stretch naturally across torch songs ("Please Break My Heart"), Memphis-styled soul ("You Don't Have to Hide"), country waltzes ("I'm Staying Out"), and electric rock ("Cello Girl").
Chris Stamey's path from jangle-rock musician to alt.country producer has made stops with Whiskeytown, Alejandro Escovedo, Greg Hawks & The Tremblers, and Cary's previous two releases. His work here shows a sophisticated understanding of how to tailor the sound to the singer, rather than simply retreading his earlier successes. Cary gets superb musical backing from a core group of Dave Bartholomew, Brian Dennis, Jen Gunderman, and John Wurster, along with cameos from Stamey, Carpenter, Don Dixon and others.
For the time being, Cary is still bound to be introduced as a formerly-lesser-illuminated-part-of-Whiskeytown. And while it's true that Ryan Adams talent and charisma cast a somewhat opaque shadow across the rest of the band, Cary's second full-length should firmly establish her as a unique, consistently successful post-Whiskeytown alumnus.
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Solid Effort,
By A Customer
This review is from: I M Staying Out (Audio CD)While not as instantly engaging as her previous cd, I found this a work of much more depth and maturity. Nothing jumps out immediately but the melodies are just as sharp and the lyrics more insightful. "Beauty Fades Away" is one of the most moving and original love songs I've heard in quite some time. I notice something new each time I listen to the songs. While not yet in the songwriting class of Mary Chapin Carpenter (who sings background on 3 songs) I wouldn't be surprised if she's mentioned in the same category in short order. Give this one a chance.
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I'd hoped it to be,
This review is from: I M Staying Out (Audio CD)Being a big Whiskeytown and Jayhawk fan I was looking forward to a tastey little treat. Cary comes in loud and clear but the rest of the band and guests don't ever get a chance to shine. Cary has a nice voice and all but if you are going to have Mary Chapin Carpenter harmonize on a few songs, we'd like to be able to hear her. Same goes for Jen Gunderman. Who does'nt want more Jen? On the postive side, the song writing is strong and the overall sound is pleasing to the ear. It's just not a CD that I will wear out. Throw in some instrumental solos, turn up the mix on the harmonizing parts, and then we can talk. Maybe less Cary is actually more.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, same,
This review is from: I M Staying Out (Audio CD)If you own Ms. Cary's previous album, "While You Weren't Looking," and you enjoyed it, then you will like her latest. Start to finish, it is more of the same. There are no new ideas here, but the ideas Ms. Cary does express in her lyrics and arrangements work well in yoking together pop sensibility with alt-country nerve. Among the songs collected here are a few gems. Particularly wonderful is "Sleeping in on Sunday," the best song ever written about staying in bed.
Judging by reviews of Ms. Cary's previous release, many people may not like this cd. That's too bad. Though it isn't flashy or groundbreaking, it fits just like your favorite old t-shirt. Happy listening.
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I M Staying Out by Caitlin Cary (Audio CD - 2003)
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