Joanna Newsom The Milk-Eyed Mender
Rolling Stone: Included in Rolling Stone's Top 50 Records Of 2004 - "[She] trills gorgeous melodies with poetry..."
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- Released: March 23, 2004
- Originally Released: 2004
- Label: Drag City
Rolling Stone - p.146Included in Rolling Stone's Top 50 Records Of 2004 - "[She] trills gorgeous melodies with poetry..."
Spin - p.63Ranked #40 in Spin's "40 Best Albums of the Year" - "With her pint-size voice and full-size harp, Newsom baffled and charmed indie-folk fans this year..."
Uncut - p.984 stars out of 5 - "So freshly individual is the 22-year-old Newsom, it's like decoding a Picasso or retracing Escher's op-art illusions."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.78"Her songs sound ancient and childlike, part Appalachian folk reverie, part Roald Dahl yarn."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1103 stars out of 5 - "Over and above her gorgeous, spare arrangements for harp, piano and harpsichord, it's Joanna Newsom's voice that really steals the show....This is a weird, dark record."
- $1.29 on iTunes1.Bridges and Balloons
- $1.29 on iTunes2.Sprout and the Bean
- $1.29 on iTunes3.The Book of Right-On
- $1.29 on iTunes4.Sadie
- $1.29 on iTunes5.Inflammatory Writ
- $1.29 on iTunes6.This Side of the Blue
- $1.29 on iTunes7."En Gallop"
- $1.29 on iTunes8.Cassiopeia
- $1.29 on iTunes9.Peach, Plum, Pear
- $1.29 on iTunes10.Swansea
- $1.29 on iTunes11.Three Little Babes
- $1.29 on iTunes12.Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes
Personnel: Joanna Newsom (vocals, vocals, harp, piano, Wurlitzer piano, harpsichord); Noah Georgeson (guitar, background vocals).
Personnel: Joanna Newsom (harp, harpsichord, Wurlitzer organ).
Photographer: Alisa Anderson.
Unknown Contributor Role: Emily Prince.
Joanna Newsom plays the harp, looks like an elf princess, and sings in a squeaky child-like voice, all of which contribute to her unique charm. Like her pal and frequent collaborator Devendra Banhart, she's also a shining light of the early 2000s neo-folk movement, which bonds quirky wordplay and fuzzy eccentricity with a deep reverence for authentic rural folk.
Whether accompanying herself on harp, harpsichord, or piano, Newsom plunges into the archaic depths of American roots music and cherry-picks the most heartbreaking passages, weaving everything together with lyrics of shockingly formal eloquence that present dense poetic imagery in the vein of BRINGING IT ALL BACK HOME-era Dylan. Songs like "Sprout and the Bean," "Peach, Plum, Pear," and "Sadie" weave enough elaborate visions for a dozen ballads, adding something more than the expected folksy tweeness. Throughout THE MILK-EYED MENDER, Newsom's lulling harp and odd vocalizing combine to create something utterly original, yet deeply familiar, standing firm at the crossroads between outsider art and genuine brilliance.
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