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Red House Painters Import

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Nov. 2 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: 4ad / Ada
  • ASIN: B00002SWSX
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
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1. Grace Cathedral Park
2. Down Though
3. Katy Song
4. Mistress
5. Things Mean A Lot
6. Funhouse
7. Take Me Out
8. Rollercoaster
9. New Jersey
10. Dragonflies
11. Mistress (Piano Version)
12. Mother
13. Strawberry Hill
14. Brown Eyes

Product Description

Red House Painters 1

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I am really surprised that a few people found this CD mediocre. Every single song on this is nothing short of extraordinary. I bought it in 1993 when it came out, and I took it out the other day after not having listened to it for a long time. Mark Kozelek's voice is so haunting, so human...few people can command a song like he can, to open himself up so that you can feel every ounce of his longing, sorrow, and hurt. Not that every song is depressing...maybe it's just me, but I also hear a lot of hope and desire to move forward, despite the longing and desperation of songs like "Mistress", "Katy Song", and "Take Me Out". And let's not forget hilarious lines like "there's my favorite rollercoaster, next to the blue water...the one that only sissies ride." This is real of the most stunning records I've ever heard.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9d63da38) out of 5 stars 33 reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d45f918) out of 5 stars One of the best albums ever May 31 2000
By Micah Newman - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Red House Painters have a beautifully consistent aesthetic about them which is what attracted me to them in the first place; something revolving around their name, the rustic scenes depicted on their sepia-tinted album covers, and the simple yet epic resonance of their music. Their first release, "Down Colorful Hill", is what many consider their masterwork, and while superb, it seems to me more like a diamond in the rough, foreshadowing what was to follow. This, the first of their two 1993 self-titled LPs (also known respectively as `the rollercoaster one' and `the bridge one') is what I consider their definitive product. In fact, the two together could be considered a single definitive opus; a two-volume triple-album. But if you had to pick one, it would be this.
"Funhouse" is a song I would hold up as a template of the archetypal RHP style, with its painstakingly slow, martial, 6/8 drumbeat (do you have any idea how hard it is to play that _slow_! ), patiently chiming guitars with each note like a carefully chosen word, and a spiraling, almost frenetic climax. Other standouts on this double-album are as numerous as they are excellent. There is obviously a lot of deep pain behind these songs, but it is expressed so beautifully that it keeps the pathos, however dark, from descending into irredeemable despair. Their music has a gorgeous kind of expansive melancholy to it, like gazing out to sea at dusk on the central or northern California coast. When listening to this I get almost overwhelmed with its sheer emotive power and purity. I am in complete awe of these people, for having this wonderful kind of artistic vision and the wherewithal to pull it off so magnificently.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9dc68468) out of 5 stars Grace Cathedral Park Nov. 17 2005
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Well, this is why we love music so much. We have bands like Red House Painters that just astound you with their genius. I keep coming back here, hoping someone will write another review that expresses what I feel about these songs. I guess I'll write one myself.

I think Grace Cathedral Park is the most honestly emotional and personal song I've ever heard. To me, the poignancy created by a beautiful harmony is the most sublime aspect of music. In Grace Cathedral Park, the flow of the chord progression between Mark Kozelek's vocals and the bass as he sings 'and I know for sure that you'll never be the one' - I don't know anything like this - it is so enrapturing. It just goes to show you that music is able to capture or express a feeling better than words. It's as if a lot of talented musicians can write prosaic songs that might rock or groove, but here they have attained something more transcendent. And the part right before this is just as beautiful- the 'music box sounds' that build up to such a nice groove and climax. Kozelek writes such stunning words: 'it's the forbidden moment that we live that fires our sad escape...' I feel the sun's glimmering rays as the guitar arpeggio repeats to the end of the song. It is so perfectly sung, like the way he says 'fading sun' or 'sad escape.'

Things Mean a Lot is my second favorite song on the album. Here they attain it again, when the piano kicks in with its unusual melody and chords. Such an exquisite feeling created by the piano and him singing 'scares me how you get older' around 1:43 into the song, after he sustains such a great tone when he sings 'in the same part of the world.'

Then there's Katy Song. It starts with a mesmerizing guitar riff that creates such a great atmosphere. Then Kozelek comes in with some clever, flowing lyrics in his pained voice. I can't get enough of this song and its guitar line. Who plays chords like that? I would nominate it as one of the greatest songs ever.

The other great songs I think are Dragonflies, Rollercoaster, Down Through, and the guitar-fueled version of Mistress. Dragonflies paints such a great image- 'with their ornamental stars.' Such great harmonies between the guitar, bass and Kozelek singing, 'you're chasing dragonflies at play, my little lost girl....' Rollercoaster gives the feeling of such expansive skies, 'reminding me I'll never be able to relive this day except in memory.' Down Through is another searingly personal song with nice guitar picking. I love the way Mistress keeps building and building to its climax, when he wails at the end.

Ok, I'll quit analyzing each second of the song now. It's more fun riding on the train, staring out into the sunlight and reliving the poignancy created by these songs from earlier, more urgent times. This is one of my top one or two favorite albums.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d2d14a4) out of 5 stars bruised internally, eternally Jan. 24 2002
By jack_of_hearts - Published on
Format: Audio CD
there's just no other voice on the planet that can make you feel simultaneously happy and sad like mark kozelek's can. the perfect example is "grace cathedral park", this albums opening cut; a song that is somehow like a surfacing memory. has the person you loved gone away? listen to "katy song" a few times and see if the opening notes don't start to automatically deflate your heart. this is the happy/sad dyanamic without the happy part. and the long lullaby fade out... oh, it hurts. track four's "mistress" does the happy/sad thing again; later, "mistress:piano version" leaves off the happy part... oh well. (try this: burn a compilation, follow "piano version" with "mistress"... pretty cool.) the thing about this album is that long after your first listen you will still be finding songs that surprise you with their intimacy, their relevance,and their beauty. i discovered "take me out" a couple of months after i bought "Rollercoaster" and lisened to it over and over again... there will be songs like that for you too. i promise.
there are seven commercially released RHP albums. i recommend you buy this third, after Songs For a Blue Guitar and Ocean Beach. next on the list is Down Colorful Hill.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d2b0390) out of 5 stars the essence of 4AD July 30 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Back when I was 20 I found out that buying albums of unknown artists just by judging the cover is an amazing tactic to get to know new quality music. This is how I bought many 4AD albums, and this is how I discovered RHP. Years after, already having all their albums, this incredible masterpiece is my best purchase ever. Slow, weary music has never sounded so mature and wise in this pure selection of quality songs. With "Katy Song" melting slowly into your heart, and "Mistress" sawing its way through, each and every one of the songs on this CD is, by its own, worth the expense of getting this album. No music lover can hear this album and remain indifferent. However, you must listen to it a few times before the full genius of this terrific band is absorbed. pure art.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa102c90c) out of 5 stars Classic masterpiece Sept. 12 2006
By Nuno Leal Da Silva - Published on
Format: Audio CD
For me this is the best record Red House ever recorded, the record that defined sadcore and above all, a alternative pop-rock masterpiece, one of the best 90's records and from 4AD catalogue. A masterpiece in simple beauty, the unique voice and lyrics from Kozelek and the music... the music is psychedelic in its power, you'll get lost in time and space after you dive your head and ears into this music. Prepare yourself to cry, laugh, feel peaceful and outrageously mad. Red House Painters, thank you so much for this!