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Time (The Revelator)

Gillian Welch

2001

Time (The Revelator)

Album Summary

Time (The Revelator) is the third studio album by American singer-songwriter Gillian Welch. All songs were written by Welch together with David Rawlings and were recorded at RCA Studio B, Nashville, Tennessee, with the exception of "I Want to Sing That Rock and Roll", which was recorded live at the Ryman Auditorium as part of the sessions for the concert film Down from the Mountain.

Wikipedia

Rating

3

Votes

4890

Genres

  • Singer Songwriter
  • Country
Reviews
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Thu Nov 04 2021
5

I had never heard of Gillian Welch before thi sprang up in my playlist. My appreciation for country, Americana, bluegras and such is a little limited, due to both a lack of knowledge and a wariness based on prominence of the genres' more embarrassing examples. So, I hope you understand that I began playing this album with open-mindedness, but with a dash of trepidation. Within a minute the album had struck me with a haymaker, mocking me for my hesitancy. This album is not only brilliant, it's obviously, mathematically brilliant. I try not to use hyperbole, but I am struggling to describe this album without resorting to such. Both unadorned and luxurious, this is the result of exquisite care taken with both art and craft. If you don't appreciate this faultless yet human treasure, then you should have a good long talk with yourelf.

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Wed Oct 06 2021
2

2 of 5 (10/5/21) When people ask me what it was like to be part of the Nashville music scene, they're hoping to hear about a vibrant, exciting community creating innovative and unique new musical offerings for the world to hear. "What's it like to see a songwriter set at the legendary Blue Bird Cafe?" they ask, wide eyed and eager. Well, 90% of it sounds exactly like this. Generic, country-adjacent, sad-sack, wanna-be-crooner, singer-songwriter noise. Boring and samey. God forbid you be an actually exceptional female singer-songwriter in Nashville. It's nearly impossible to rise above the noise of all of the girl-and-guitar acts glutting the stages, bars, and coffee houses of Nashville, TN. The main reason this didn't get a 1-star review is because the track "I Want to Sing That Rock and Roll" is excellent and completely different from the rest of the album. And no wonder. It's recorded live at The Ryman and produced by T-Bone Burnett who's exceptionally good at what he does. If the whole album had followed the lead of this one track, this review would have been significantly different. Sadly, for everyone who has to listen to this album, it doesn't and this track stands alone, an island in a sea of mediocrity.

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Fri Dec 17 2021
5

I went back and gave it another two listens that day.

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Fri Dec 31 2021
5

An unexpected delight. Sparse, but doesn't really need much. Feels like am intimate back porch jam. Blends bluegrass, country, and folk expertly. Vocally reminds me of Bonnie Raitt. Didn't expect to give this a 5, but here we are. Favorite tracks: "April the 14th", "Elvis Presley Blues", "Everything Is Free"

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Mon Feb 28 2022
5

It’s Been a long time that I heard an album of which I loved every song on the first listen - wonderful

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Thu May 20 2021
3

I’ve never been a fan of this type of music either. I felt really haunted listening to it though, it was full of pain even when the lyrical content was reflecting something innocuous or positive. Too slow, too “artsy” for my taste but fuck if I didn’t *feel* something

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Sun Jun 06 2021
2

“Time (The Revelator)” by Gillian Welch (2001) Maintaining the bare essentials of folk, this album moves the serious listener beyond Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, and Judy Collins into the twenty first century. And it makes the serious folk fan wish that time would not only reveal, but stop, dammit. Welch’s singing and songwriting are respectable exemplars of the genre, sometimes (“Revelator”and “April the 14th, Pt. 1”) bringing to mind David Crosby’s more thoughtful work. But the performances are under-rehearsed. Nearly every track could have used at least one more take. Lots of clunkers in there. Lyrics are neither deep nor clever, but are suitably poetic, with plenty of intriguing images and reverie. David Rawlings’ support on guitar is shaky, with more than a few flubs in his all too improvisational accompaniment. But his backing vocals are well suited to Welch’s compositions, providing occasionally mesmerizing harmonies. Welch’s banjo playing (especially on “My First Lover”) is not particularly accomplished, although her banjo break in the unsubtly sarcastic live performance of “I Want to Sing That Rock and Roll” is outstanding. Really. “I Dream a Highway Back to You” is beautifully evocative, if you have the patience to sit through 14:39 of mournful reflection. Since I did, I paid the price in sadness. I need another cup of coffee. 2/5

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Wed Nov 10 2021
5

One of the best albums all time--enough said, but I'll say more. The marriage of poetic lyrics and tasteful, subtle instrumentation in this album is unlike anything I've ever heard. Most songs are just 2 instruments, and yet each is a distinct arrangement completely articulated around the story painted by the words. The experience of this album is akin to sitting in a room with a master painter or other artisan and watching a masterpiece come to life quietly and softly before you.

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Thu May 06 2021
4

Gillian Welch's third album, Time (The Revelator), finds the folk vocalist and musician shifting her attention from achingly beautiful mountain ballads to achingly beautiful pop/rock ballads. Regarding this album, Welch states: "As opposed to being little tiny folk songs or traditional songs, they're really tiny rock songs. They're just performed in this acoustic setting. In our heads we went electric without changing instruments." This philosophy is most evident in songs like "I Want to Sing That Rock and Roll" and "Elvis Presley Blues," with her longtime collaborator David Rawlings accompanying her on Louvin-esque high harmonies and vintage guitar. Fans of the duo's neo-old-timey sound will be happy to hear a few of their familiar, intimate dust bowl folk songs peering through the fence posts. The banjo-driven "My First Lover" could've been recorded on Alan Lomax's back porch, while the title track aches and moans along with the best of her two previous albums. Rawlings' production on the album remains warm and intimate throughout, capturing the subtleties of the acoustic instruments and earthy harmonies. Highlights include the passionate romp "Red Clay Halo," which includes the best elements of time-honored folk stylings and their newfound passion for rock & roll, and the hushed awe that captures the audience in the Ryman Auditorium during the live recording of "I Want to Sing That Rock and Roll." Time (The Revelator) ends with an unprecedented 15-minute track called "I Dream a Highway," which drifts lazily through the album's final moments, sweetly dozing in the current like Huck and Jim's Mississippi River afternoons. Welch and Rawlings are at the top of their form and continue to make the best Americana recordings without resorting to drenching their albums in guest stars, but by writing and performing heartfelt songs that speak with a clear and undeniable honesty.

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Wed Sep 15 2021
4

Beautiful, timeless folk/country/bluegrass. Strong and heartfelt performances. I like it. The down side is that it's really not very original or creative. For an album released in 2001, this is all stuff that could have been recorded 50 or even 70 years earlier. There is nothing here you haven't heard before. Still, periodically people need to return to these kind of classic/roots sounds and this record does a great job delivering it.

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Mon Mar 07 2022
3

Her voice is very soothing. Perhaps her voice being so fragile necessitates the music being scant. Keith Moon attacking the drum kit just wouldn't work. Regardless, Mr. Rawlings is very capable picking the 6 strings.  I don't really know her music except for the gospel song  "I'll Fly Away" which she sang as a  duet with Alison Krause on the Oh Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack.

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Mon May 10 2021
2

What came first? Gillian Welch or Lilith Fair?

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Wed Jun 16 2021
5

Such an instant crush on her. Incredible music

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Thu Jul 15 2021
5

Everything modern Americana should be

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Mon Jul 26 2021
5

Love her albums … The songs keep giving

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Sun Sep 19 2021
5

Wonderful album. It was nice to listen to it again, and it was as beautiful as I remembered it to be.

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Sun Jan 30 2022
5

Really love this.

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Mon Apr 11 2022
5

I bought this album when it was first released and I still find it amazing. Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings as a songwriting, singing, and guitar-playing duo are far, far too overlooked. Each one on their own is phenomenal; together, I really just love what they do on so many levels. My first real exposure to them as a duo was when I saw the concert film, 'Down From The Mountain', which was strung together from performances at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN, USA, by musicians who contributed to the amazing soundtrack from 'O, Brother, Where Art Thou?' Ms. Welch and Mr. Rawlings did a live performance of 'I Want To Sing That Rock And Roll' that went straight and deep into my heart and has never left me. It's stunning. And now I get to re-listen to the whole darn album thanks to this project. Even one listen to the opening track, 'Revelator', sets me on the journey on another plane. Thank you.

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Thu Aug 04 2022
5

This album by Gillian Welch is a meandering contemplative blend of folk and bluegrass. The music itself it rather sparse which draws attention to and highlights the vocals. The album is pervaded with a sense of melancholic reflection that leaves the listener feeling the weight of the lyrics. There is an earnestness to this album which really draws me and I have found myself re-listening to it.

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Fri Aug 12 2022
5

An extremely lovely album.

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Sun Aug 21 2022
5

Awesome.

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Wed Aug 31 2022
5

Fantastic! Great feel for period pieces. She's right up there with Allison Krause in her song writing. Loved this album and will listen to it many more times.

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Thu Sep 22 2022
5

Spare and haunting in a way that leaves the listener oddly fulfilled. Just gorgeous.

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Fri Sep 23 2022
5

Good

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Wed Nov 30 2022
5

An amazing songwriter

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Thu May 06 2021
4

The Carnival is strong with this one. I dug the album.

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Mon Jul 19 2021
4

Very quiet music. David Rawlings is amazing.

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Fri May 21 2021
4

Nice and pretty, but didn't deliver enough to stand out

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Thu Jun 17 2021
4

Beautiful, soulful, Americana.

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Thu Jun 17 2021
4

Pretty cool and relaxing country music, with some rad harmonies at times.

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Sat May 22 2021
4

A šta je zadnja stvar predivna. Vrh albuma a ujedno i kraj. Lijep country/Americana album, laganih nota i lijepog glasa. Također zadnji dan u Prvči NG M-1, pa znam koji sam album slušao zadnji ovdje jer smo sa ovim krenuli taman negdje u drugom tjednu kad sam krenuo ovdje raditi. Ovaj album ću još preslušati par puta sigurno, vruće ljeto u prirodi ili rana jesen. Definitivno vjerujem da je za to vrijeme.

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Fri May 21 2021
4

Not a fan of traditional country, but this album I really enjoyed. Highlights: Revelator, Red Clay Halo, Everything Is Free

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Mon May 10 2021
4

Tengo una fascinación por los temas en donde lo único que se escucha es la voz, algún que otro piano y guitarras/bajos. Esa sonido medio "unplugged" siempre me gustó y este disco tiene mucho de eso. Hace muchos años que tengo la costumbre de escuchar covers en versión acústica de temas que me gustan mucho mucho pero siendo intepretados por gente random de youtube. Es mi paco de hace muchos años. Volviendo, esa cosa "intima" me gusta demasiado. La voz de ella me encanta y esa guitarra con el banjo se hablan muy bien. Me lo puse a escuchar a la noche, mientras escriba el 365 y creo que es para eso, para desconectar del día. Disco rutero pero de esos que sirven para regresar al hotel. Me da a música de esos películas donde el protagonista está medio bajón, bebida alcohólica en mano y mucho fuera de foco pero que el sentimiento que te quiere transmitir es que todo va a estar bien. Revelator, Dear Someone, Everything is Free son los temás que más me gustaron. El último tema de 15 minutos siento que es innecesario. Los primeros 3 minutos es escuchable, después parece que el tema entró en un infinite loop. La muerte. ¿Volvería a escuchar el disco? Sí. 8 ludomatics.

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Tue May 11 2021
4

Reminds me a lot of Laura Marling (or I guess the other way around). Nice, calming country sounds.

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Sun Aug 01 2021
4

Beautiful voice...

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Wed Aug 04 2021
4

interesting album, i had to actually sit still and listen to it to really appreciate it. Since the melodies are simple and its mostly voice driven.

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Mon Aug 09 2021
4

This is really lovely album. The sweet and simple acoustic arrangement is excellent, and Welch's soft, bittersweet vocal will put you in a contemplative mood. As one reviewer put it, there is a sadness to these songs, even when the lyrics don't particularly call for it. The pace is slow and lingering, which some people may not like, but it's a really enjoyable listen. Not a bad song on here, really. Fave songs: Revelator, Everything is Free, Dear Someone, I Dream a Highway

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Tue Aug 10 2021
4

Powerful stuff - reminds me of singers like Fiona Apple, Sheila Nichols and Cathy Davey... just a really strong, emotive, cosmic voice, she knows what she wants to say and says it in a way that's greater than the sum of its parts. Really enjoyed

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Thu Aug 19 2021
4

Not usually my taste but this album was great! I can imagine putting it on when someone comes over for dinner / chill

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Wed Aug 25 2021
4

It's good to listen to folk once in awhile

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Thu Aug 26 2021
4

inviting yet mysteries tunes

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Mon Aug 30 2021
4

aan het genieten. een rustig country album met een mooie vrouwenstem. Zeker tof om eens te luisteren. Ik ga het opslaan maar weet niet of ik er vaak naar ga terugkeren.

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Mon Sep 06 2021
4

3.5 | Que disco tan tan agradablemente sorpresivo. Al parecer las portadas de mujeres en vestidos de flores con fotos mal tomadas son un buen augurio. Country blues folk muy muy bien hecho. La música a pesar de ser tan clásica Americana no se siente ni trillada y de hecho con ciertos arreglos se siente bastante moderna. Voz muy buena, letras inteligentes. Nunca la había escuchado pero podría ser de los mejores countries alternativos que he escuchado.

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Sun Sep 19 2021
4

Excellent Gillian Welch album, with various 5* songs, such as the opener and the two final songs.

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Wed Oct 13 2021
4

My dad loved the music of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, so I've known this album for years. I love the way their guitars and voices intertwine, the snaky guitar leads that occasionally dip into dissonance, and the haunted melancholy feel of it. Probably my favourite album of hers. A unique sound.

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Sun Nov 07 2021
4

This is very nice. I prefer the more modern sounding tunes to the purist traditional stuff, but it's all very good. Guitar playing reminds me a lot of Milk Carton Kids, who I adore. If you like this, I recommend you check them out. 4 stars.

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Thu Nov 11 2021
4

pretty good!

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Fri Nov 26 2021
4

Lovely acoustic album with songwriting that ebbs and flows gracefully. A little on the country/stripped down side for my tastes but undeniably a great album. Fave track: I Dream a Highway

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Sun Dec 12 2021
4

Very simple, just her and some guitar/banjo accompaniment. Really solid Appalachia sound.

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Fri Dec 17 2021
4

Very enjoyable

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Mon Dec 20 2021
4

Based on this album, Gillian Welch is the folk version of Aimee Mann because they have like the exact same voice. Regardless, I liked this album overall but a 14 minute final track was a tad excessive even if it was still good. Fav: dear someone

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Fri Dec 24 2021
4

moody country

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Wed Dec 29 2021
4

I found my calling while sitting on my roof and replacing 1688 screws: this album. I’m not sure if was the slight fear of heights, dehydration, or exposure, but it resonated with me

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Wed Jan 12 2022
4

This is a VIBE. I love the guitar solos and acoustic sound. This is one I will definitely listen to again and again. My first lover had this down south sound to it.

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Fri Jan 14 2022
4

3.5/5. This was pretty good. It's not exactly what I like to listen to, but I can appreciate it. I think the last song is too long, however.

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Sun Jan 23 2022
4

Another of those albums I missed when it came out which is a shame as I love Gillian Welch's contributions to the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack. I'll admit Time (The Revelator) loses my interest towards the end but I have a feeling that this would fade with more listens and an increased familiarity of Welch's style of Folk Country. After this album I do want to listen to more of her work

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Mon Jan 24 2022
4

Short and very sweet stripped back bluegrass roots folk. Gillian and Dave are magnetic on stage. This is a fine example of their work. Title track is the best.

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Thu Feb 03 2022
4

Before the voice arrived, I knew I would like this album. I'm not sure what the non-verbal tell was; In the lyrics the attraction is clear. Religion, music, love, home, death: Holy things which we all have mysterious lonely access to. Either that or the music sounds like the country music of my folks from when I was young. As always, songs named after times, separated into parts and spread across a tracklist are welcome. As is deceptive simplicity. I haven't figured out precisely how deceptive this record is.

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Sun Feb 06 2022
4

Country com bastante carga melódica.

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Mon Feb 07 2022
4

A little sleepy, but great. Dreaming too much of that highway. Great guitar work.

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Wed Feb 16 2022
4

first listen this sort of folk is the soul of the usa

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Sun Feb 20 2022
4

Delicious harmonies, feel bad for David Rawlins that it isn't a shared credit - he feels as much a part of this album as GW. Cowgirls are just as important as cowboys and here's the proof.

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Thu Mar 03 2022
4

Man... detta var swag... shoutout till henne!

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Fri Mar 04 2022
4

I am liking the sparseness of the songs. Even with just a guitar, there is still variety in the songs. Ruination Part Day is so dark, whereas other songs are more cheerful. My confusion as to why this album is on the 1001 list. There are other country artists that could have easily made the list: Alison Krauss comes to mind immediately. I don't see what Gilian Welch's voice or style stands out from other country artists of this ilk. Still, I like this type of music every so often as a bit of a "palate cleanser" so to speak. I just don't find it a cut above the rest of this type.

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Mon Mar 07 2022
4

I remember hearing a live, duet version on Youtube of "Everything is Free" and thinking it perfectly summed up the state of the music industry today, from a sad but funny personal perspective. I read "How Music Got Free" around the same time. They made good companions. The title track is epic and there's really no filler on the album. Just the two of them strumming away, unaccompanied, playing original material - some Appalachian, some bluegrass, some folk, some country mixing it up enough so that it stays fresh. Great lyrics throughout! I was leaning toward a 5 but my co-judge told me to calm down.

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Fri May 06 2022
4

Love this. Very beautiful... calming.

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Fri May 13 2022
4

I have Revival and Hell Among the Yearlings and really liked them, but I guess I stopped with this album because grad school penury. Folks think this is where it all comes together, but I miss the intensity of the earlier albums.

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Thu May 26 2022
4

SO pleasant to listen to, it soothes me. I don't usually listen to music like this, but I felt like this album cast a spell on me that makes me want to return. Good American folk music makes me yearn for earlier American days. America used to have this whole mythos and majesty surrounding it. There was a unifying American spirit. Now, everything that once was sacred and beautiful has been destroyed in the name of progress. I'm not patriotic at all but the loss of such a sense of awe and majesty makes me mourn, in the same way Nietzsche mourned the "death of God". There's nothing inspiring to believe in anymore. All that's left to find meaning in is phony social justice and vapid consumer culture

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Thu May 26 2022
4

Ok country album 3 Ok, it's really good 4

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Wed Jun 15 2022
4

Revelations of red mud, blood, blues and Elvis. Strong stuff.

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Sun Jul 03 2022
4

My default setting is rock, but it's 5 in the morning and I'm delightfully drunk. Sometimes you need to listen to something stripped back like this. Great album.

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Fri Aug 12 2022
4

слушать заебанным по пути домой после утомительного и дурацкого дня и обязательно одному. альбом открывается не сразу, мне сначала не заходило: ну красиво, ну лампово-спокойно, я тут ващета пытаюсь наслушаться перед смертью. но эта музыка действительно очень сочетается с чувством одиночества и (извините, если пошлость) может сделать момент особенным.

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Fri Nov 26 2021
4

Calming melodies with some strong lyrics. Not my cup of tea but still really good.

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Fri Aug 19 2022
4

This is rather a special album.

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Wed Aug 24 2022
4

Another “revelation” for me. What a voice! The simplicity of the accompaniment invites careful attention to nuance and fosters a refreshing intimacy. This album calls for many rehearings!

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Thu Aug 25 2022
4

First time listen but I knew from the first track that I was gonna dig the whole record. Will definitely listen again.

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Thu Sep 08 2022
4

Thus is lovely. County/Americana can be a bit suspect but this is sparse, haunting and leaves a warm feeling. 2 people picking acoustic guitars and GWs velvet voice. It all holds together well as an album. Will play again. Strong 4.

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Fri Sep 16 2022
4

Loved this. Buttery folky harmonies, finger picks n strums. What more do ya need?

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Fri Sep 23 2022
4

i'm very glad to learn about this

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Thu Oct 06 2022
4

I listened to this album a fair amount in the early 2000s. It occupies the same sad hole in my heart where Aimee Mann and Elliott Smith also reside. I can only listen to them when it's a little gloomy out and when I am in a certain mood. Gillian Welch's voice and harmonies are beautiful. I love the way the music highlights traditional bluegrass instruments like the banjo but with a dark twist. If I had one critique it would be that sometimes the music is so slow and soft it sometimes takes on a droning/dirge-like feel that can put me to sleep. Like I said, gotta be in the right mood.

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Thu Oct 06 2022
4

This album is a heartsong that speaks to the places I emerged from: slow, rural, earthy. It is interesting to read her story as an adopted child born in NYC and then being raised in L.A., finally landing in Nashville. I was somewhat sorry I did because I always thought her voice came from the kind of place I did, but it turns out that's not the case. That created a dialogue about authenticity for me, but nonetheless, an album like this by a woman whose biological mother may have grown up in the mountains of North Carolina still feels like she never left those blue hills. Or maybe has strived so hard to find them. I know the feeling.

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Thu Oct 06 2022
4

Pared back gentle songs. She has a lovely voice and the subtle harmonies round out the sound.

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Thu Oct 27 2022
4

I didn't know this artist at all and I had no expectations. Finally, the more I think about my listening, the more I say to myself that I liked the album and that I will certainly return to it. It's emotional, warm and tormented folk like there were few in the early 2000s. Does the album bring something different? Does he belong in the challenge? No idea, but very nice discovery in my case.

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Thu Oct 27 2022
4

Beautiful, haunting, lovely voice

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Thu Oct 27 2022
4

Very enjoyable even if a little overly stripped down at times. I Want to Sing That Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley Blues, and I Dream a Highway were great

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Sun Oct 30 2022
4

enjoyable, moody

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Sun Dec 04 2022
4

Pure and haunting and true, no matter if musical hipsters are making the music. Sometimes the homage is better than the original.

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Thu Dec 08 2022
4

What are the politics of taking a Black folk song ('John Henry') and turning it into a paean to Elvis (despite the nuanced lyric, especially in the third verse where the legend of John Henry is brought front and centre). Much to ponder! I've never heard any Gillian Welch before now, and I'd like to hear more. The first couple of tunes are wonderful, spiky minor-key numbers and forbidding lyric sheets. As a whole this album lulls (anaesthetizes?) the lyric a little too much for this listener; and the music, whilst wrought in lovely shapes, is derivative. But Welch is a great, haunted singer and an even better songwriter, so these are minor quibbles.

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Thu Dec 08 2022
4

I heard this one because I was deep in my LimeWire phase at the time and was downloading anything that anybody talked about. I didn't know who she was, didn't know her music. I wouldn't even consider myself a big fan of the sort of alt-folk/country whatever it is that this is supposed to be categorized under. But I loved it. 'Everything is Free' is an all-time great song for me (and quite ironically so, given my LimeWire addiction at the time). 'Revelator' isn't far behind. Plenty of good stuff in between. Love the sound of the guitars, too. Pair this with Neko Case & Her Boyfriends' Furnace Room Lullaby. (Dammit that album better be on this list somewhere or it's all horse puck.)

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Thu Dec 15 2022
4

I'd listened to this a few weeks ago. It's three stellar songs spaces throughout - Title track, I Wanna Sing and the astonishing and astonishingly long end track. They sustain interest throughout with just two guitars or banjo and vocals. Absolutely usually hate this kind of stuff, so it's a strong four.

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Wed Dec 21 2022
4

Great album, chill, but slow

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Fri Jan 06 2023
4

Did like this, will need to listen again to get a better idea of it

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Thu Jan 19 2023
4

My second favorite genre is girl with guitar (or piano). This fits.

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Fri Jan 20 2023
4

Allison Krauss meets Joni Mitchell with a strong hint of Emmylou Harris thrown in for good measure. Norah Jones became the breakout star around this time, but a world with better sense would have made Welch a star instead.

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Tue Jun 01 2021
3

Mysigt men har glömt det om 2 dagar.

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Fri May 21 2021
3

eh waify country, not my style. I'm gonna give it a 3 because some of the guitarwork is good enough that giving it a 2 would feel like I'm dissing it, which I'm not. But I wouldn't willingly listen to this kind of thing.

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Tue Jun 01 2021
3

Very nice lady!

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Mon Jul 19 2021
3

I feel like I should have liked this album more than I did. Country music has never really done it for me, and that is evident in my reaction to this album. I love her voice, I think the musicianship is good throughout, and I really like the production of the album. Still, it leaves me a bit cold. A good album, but not my thing 3/5

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Mon Jun 28 2021
3

Pretty good but country isn't my jam. Pretty chill and she has a great voice.

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Mon May 31 2021
3

Kinda pretty but boring and draggy. Not my jam. 2.5 rounded up.

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