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Laura Veirs ~ Saltbreakers
What Suzanne Vega was to the East Coast--working at the intersection of folk and art songs--Laura Veirs has become to the Pacific Northwest. With organic imagery and a sense of open-eyed, open-hearted wonder, her songs seem to hover between the sea and the stars and to take inspiration from each. Though "To the Country" is the undisputed highlight here, featuring a luminous call-and-response with the Cedar Hill Choir and guest guitar from Bill Frisell, Veirs extends her range from the soul groove of the title track (which is also now the name of her band, formerly the Tortured Souls) to the propulsive rock of "Phantom Mountain." Even when her material flirts with preciousness ("Nightingale") or conforms more to folk convention, the musical settings entrance. --Don McLeese
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Here Veirs' inspiration comes from oceanic imagery - in complement to "Meteors" ' geological theme - and it never once feels contrived or forced.
Clear standout is the epic sweep of "To the Country", recorded in Johnny Cash's Nashville cabin, and featuring an eight-person Baptist choir.
All the songs slip their way into your subconscious like loveable but slightly annoying friends.
When you find yourself waking up singing "drink deep, my love" you'll know what I mean.
That means more beautifully imaginative songs, fancy-folk pop, moving lyrics -- and subtle instrumentation.
More of the same, then - but that's no bad thing.
The Seattle singer-songwriter has bottled a winning formula --- and she's sticking to it.
And even, if it all sounds a tad samey, you end up humming along to each tune.
A friend who usually turns me onto amazing female vocalists (Patty Griffin) sent me this album with a disclaimer about Veirs' voice. I'm glad he did because her voice (listen to samples) is pretty quirky and slightly Suzanne Vegaish. But it totally works with her great, unique arrangements and band.
This CD has been playing in my car continously for about 2 months now. There's really not a bad song here and the album as a whole is great and has staying power. My whole music-loving family knows all the songs now and no one ever asks for it to be changed. It's really good stuff - sort of mellow, gently (not annoyingly) positive, and very comfortable to have on for long stretches.
This album is like that quirky girl you befriended in high school. To your GOOD friends, you can say "Give her a chance, she's actually really cool." But you're not going be to driving around with Laura Veirs blaring for all the world to hear because she requires some explanation. :) Regardless, I recommend this album.
Following the success of 2005's mesmerizing "Year of Meteors", "Saltbreakers" is an artist at her peak. Hauntingly introspective, tender, yet gracefully playful, Veirs delights the ears as much as she pulls on the heartstrings.
Rock's laureate of the great outdoors, Laura Veirs has turned her attention on her sixth album to the watery deep - a metaphor apparently for a stormy year for her on the home front.
Whether or not "Saltbreakers" is intended to complete a trilogy initiated by "Carbon Glacier" in 2003 and 2005's "Year of Meteors", it provides a more than satisfactory sequel. The alternately grave and jaunty piano melodies here are classic Veirs, suffused with her characteristic wide-eyed poise and emotional reticence, and elaborated in chamber-pop style by her band with occasional splashes of strings and horns.
On the title track, she ventures into a rollicking, shanty-like chorus with the guys; for the rest, she remains the ambiguous nature lover, wrestling with wild thoughts in an even wilder landscape.
There is plenty here for anyone and everyone to enjoy. Haunting, tinkling folk pieces such as "Ocean Night Song" and "Wrecking", more poppy and electronic tracks like "Don't Lose Yourself" and the oh-so clap-able "To the Country". It's all different enough to not bore the listener but still is threaded together by whimsical lyrics and Veirs' distinct voice. Just a wonderful album to listen all the way through for a little gazing out the window.