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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

3.02

Votes

11160

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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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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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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Mon Mar 06 2023
1

A mighty achievement in the field of boredom.

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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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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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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 Feb 05 2023
5

Had never heard of this before but how perfect is it?! Beautiful understated singing and melodies. A fantastic discovery

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Wed Nov 02 2022
1

I bailed on this after about 3 songs. Not my thing at all. Not really a fan of singer songwriters, and I much prefer John The Revelator.

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Thu Dec 01 2022
1

It wasn’t offensive to the ears or anything I just could not connect to it in any way

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Mon Jul 26 2021
5

Love her albums … The songs keep giving

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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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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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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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Fri Mar 03 2023
1

There have been albums to come up here that I called boring. Typically folk, singer-songwriter affairs. Well, this record is more boring than any of those previous entries. This probably has appeal to those who like bluegrass or Americana, but I neither enjoy or relate to this music. If I could sum my opinion into one word, it would be - zzzzzzzz.

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Fri Apr 28 2023
5

Phenomenon songwriting, musicianship, with intimate soulful vocals. I knew how good “Everything is Free Now” is, but turns out the whole album is gold

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Thu Apr 04 2024
5

I'm always concerned when it looks like country or folk as that can be particularly awful (although it can be great). Vaguely aware of the name, the book reminds me she was on that O Brother Where Art Thou bluegrass soundtrack which was lovely. Particularly 'Ill Fly Away', the track she did with Alison Krauss. Have to say I am loving this. The slower tracks, Revelator and April 14th, remind me somewhat of Red House Painters (latterly Sun Kil Moon), then there's a mix of upbeat bluegrass and good Americana (which is thin on the ground, imho) to ensure the mood doesn't sink too low. Perfectly pitched, beautiful music. The Revelator indeed.

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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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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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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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Thu May 09 2024
3

This sounds pretty, but as I learned earlier that Steve Albini died last night this record has passed by as attractive noise. Am very sad and defaulting this to three.

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Mon May 10 2021
2

What came first? Gillian Welch or Lilith Fair?

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Sat Mar 09 2024
2

Jesus Christ, this was boring. So boring. My brain is so sluggish I can't even think of a better word for boring.

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Fri Mar 15 2024
2

She should have tried harder at rock and roll if she wanted to sing it. Not a fan.

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Wed Apr 17 2024
2

Unexpectedly good - took a bit to grow on me.

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Wed Apr 24 2024
2

So there’s country, and there’s folk, and there is singer/songwriter. This is all three rolled into one. Not a fan.

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Mon Apr 29 2024
2

I found this extremely boring

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Thu May 09 2024
2

Just drifted right past me. I'm usually pretty receptive to this kind of thing, but the melodies were too slight and the instrumentation too basic, dare I say dirge-like. Nah

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Mon Apr 03 2023
1

It's country and I suffered through it.

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Wed Aug 02 2023
1

I liked the first song. That was all. Best track: Revelator Worst tracks: My First Lover, Dear Someone, Red Clay Halo, Elvis Presley Blues + all the rest.

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Thu Feb 02 2023
5

Posluša sam ga nakon petnestak godina. Sjajan album

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Thu Jul 20 2023
5

what a great sounding album! worth of repeated listens.

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Fri Jul 28 2023
5

I knew the name but never listened. Absolute banger of an album. Some great alt country. Have to explore more of her discography.

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Thu Aug 10 2023
5

Fantastic, I could listen to this all day. The guitar style is my favourite - is it bluegrass or Appalachian? Either way, it's hauntingly beautiful.

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Thu Sep 14 2023
5

Best country/ folk album I’ve probably ever heard

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Tue Sep 19 2023
5

I’ve listened to this before on a top list. Multiple exposures solidifies the excellence.

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Sun Nov 26 2023
5

a beautiful perfect album david rawlings guitar is transcendent!!

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Wed Nov 29 2023
5

This is terrific. I wasn't familiar with Gillian Welch before this, but this is extremely reminiscent of other Americana/Bluegrass artists I love like Lula Wiles - who were clearly inspired by Gillian themselves. Singer/Songwriter Americana like this isn't something I've explored deeply, and it's clearly a shame because artists like Gillian have influenced some of my favorites. I'm looking forward to exploring her discography more.

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Thu Nov 30 2023
5

A truly great album from a truly great artist.

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Thu Nov 30 2023
5

Hadn’t heard this one but love many of her songs.

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Fri Dec 01 2023
5

Beautiful, heartbreaking, absolute quality

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Fri Dec 22 2023
5

An American icon. A gift for all. A blessing personified. How fortunate I am to live during a time that I got to see Gillian Welch's career unfold. Someone gave me Revival right when it was released and I was hooked. Revisiting this well loved album after many years I was moved to tears by Everything is Free. I went back and played this song a second time and was simply gutted: And I'm gonna do it anyway Even if doesn't pay A woman of substance. Wholesome as fuck. Andre and I saw Gillian and Dave perform on South Street years ago. We even bumped into them getting out of their car as they headed into the venue. Our friend ran up and shook her hand. I stood on the side, mouth agape, kind of shaky from being so close to this angel's presence. The concert was hours of pure bliss: two guitars and harmonies, pure perfection.

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Fri Dec 22 2023
5

Great album, one I've enjoyed many times. The performances are fantastic. That close harmony between her and Rawlings is special. Also, I love his guitar solo on I Wanna Sing that Rock and Roll. I remember playing for my parents once, and they could not stand her singing, which shocked me. They both thought she was flat. I still don't quite understand that comment, but I thought it was interesting that they instantly had the same opinion.

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Mon Dec 25 2023
5

Perfect singer songwriter acoustic album

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Thu Dec 28 2023
5

I’ve been on a bit of a folk/Americana kick lately so this hit the spot perfectly for me. What a lovely find.

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Thu Jan 25 2024
5

I had never heard of this artist before yesterday. She has a beautiful voice that would be very difficult to not want to listen to. The album was so well done with each song easily flowing from one to the other. I added it to my library and will likely listen to it over and over. I highly recommend this one no matter what genre of music you prefer.

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Wed Jan 31 2024
5

i love love this album, i grew up with it so that's probably why but i think all these songs are fantastic and her voice and the arrangement is just soooo evocative. it's so nostalgic and melancholic.... you will always be famous

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Fri Feb 02 2024
5

"Everything is free now; that's what they say", begins "Time (The Revelator)"'s most streamed song, addressing the changing state of the music industry against the unceasing rise of consumerism and the Internet. But then comes the clincher: "we're gonna do it anyway; even if it doesn't pay." And so it goes. Whatever else this astounding record might be, it's also an ode to the beauty and power of music. It's remarkably intimate, and gently hypnotic. Gillian Welch and musical partner, David Rawlings, are the only players on the record, and together they create a galaxy of sound from the belly of a hollow old studio. Welch locks in the heartbeat of each song on either acoustic guitar or banjo, while adding the soul with her beautiful alto croon. Meanwhile, Rawlings adds body on tasteful, intricate lead guitar. For prime examples of his labyrinthine playing, listen to the climactic end of "Revelator", the sparse and spacious licks in "I Dream a Highway", or the live recording "I Want to Sing that Rock and Roll", where his blistering solo results in a jump-scare cheer. So what are the songs like? Sometimes they're playful, with bluegrass stylings ("My First Lover", "Red Clay Halo") and sometimes they're soothing (the gorgeous lullaby of "Dear Someone"). Sometimes they sound as ancient as music itself, to the point where self-aware contemporary touches (reference to The Steve Miller Band, Elvis's death, even the f-bomb in the lead track) catch me off-guard. And sometimes time collides all at once: "April 14th pt. 1" and "Ruination Day pt. 2" draw together the sinking of the Titanic, the Dust Bowl storm and Lincoln's assassination as events which happened on the same day in different years. It's epic in scope, as though all of America's past and present has eroded into a giant sand-timer, before coming out the other end in musical form. This is perhaps conveyed best of all in the closer: "I Dream a Highway". Each time I've listened to it, it's quietly held me paralysed in its grasp for fifteen minutes. It's light as a feather and unbearably dense at the same time, and makes me feel like I'm also dissolving into that stream of sand, as it stretches out into a black hole. Transcendent. So there we have it: in Gillian Welch's world, music is a gift to give away, a manifestation deep down in the soul, a highway slowly dreaming its way to all of us. I'm not quite sure how, or why, but I've been entranced enough to include all of this poetic nonsense in my review, and also to make it my first five-star country album. What a special work.

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Sun Feb 04 2024
5

good good folk, welch don't miss

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Sun Feb 04 2024
5

Gillian Welch is an institution and an icon of the Americana/Folk genre.

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Fri Feb 09 2024
5

Gorgeous— everything is free is an all timer.

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Thu Mar 21 2024
5

this is a great album and it is going into my repeat rotation

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Sun Mar 24 2024
5

To me this is a very pure natural album. Minimalist musically, but lyrical content that reads like literature. She has the voice to pull this off, which I dont think many artists would be able to without it sounding clumsy or cheesy. April 14 is a strange one. Apparently the wreck of the Titanic, Black Sunday (dustbowl), and the assassination of Lincoln all happened on 4/14. It's a bad day. Also interesting that this was a critically acclaimed product of Nashville in 2001. A lot has changed in 23 years.

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Wed Mar 27 2024
5

This is just a gorgeous Bluegrass-ish album. Welch's voice is incredible -- and I love the arrangements here. Just quiet, pensive, and beautiful. Unexpected bangers: I Dream A Highway, Dear Someone, Red Clay Halo

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Tue Apr 09 2024
5

Very calming, deep album. Enjoyed it very much

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Wed Apr 24 2024
5

Stunning and beguiling, Ms Welch is clearly a captivating artist and these songs are beautifully crafted. Elvis Presley Blues is a brilliant number, full of both humour and poignancy. Sadness and longing suffuses the album and is brilliantly captured.

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Fri Apr 26 2024
5

Simply gorgeous all the way through. So glad to have run into Gillian and this album today.

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Sun Apr 28 2024
5

Oh what a great album, love the storytelling and Welch has a great voice. Only thing about this album I really hate is the cover, just a bad picture to me

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Fri May 03 2024
5

How have I not heard her before ? This is right up my street. Folk/Americana magic.

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Thu May 23 2024
5

I was between a 4 and a 5 start on this and I'm deciding to go with 5. I love everything about this, it's so simple and pure with Gillian's voice and the guitar. While simple I don't get tired off the sound, this is an example of how music stripped down completely can hold an emotional punch like no other. I think this inspired a lot of the more modern folk/country that I really enjoy.

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Thu May 23 2024
5

4.5 rounded up. I like the somber tones of the music and the unique tones of the vocals.

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Mon Jun 03 2024
5

I liked this quite a bit, although its downbeat style sort of hit me on a downbeat day and I struggled to enjoy it. This morning I played it while having a lazy morning in bed and found a connection. Beautiful!

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Mon Jun 03 2024
5

On another day, this mellow sound would have suited me better. But today, I would have preferred an upbeat track or two for the soundtrack to my walk. No matter, it was still very nice...and not an overrepresented artist or genre...

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Wed Jun 05 2024
5

I didn't think I'd heard of Gillian Welch before going in to this (which turned out to be slightly wrong - I loved her contributions to the "O Brother Where Art Thou" soundtrack) but within the first 30 seconds I knew this was going to be a personal favorite. Appalachian folk meets slowcore? zomg yes! Will definitely be digging deeper into her discography. Fave tracks - "Revelator" and "Everything is Free" are both so good they bring tears to my eyes and goosebumps to my skin.

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Sun Jun 09 2024
5

I love Gillian Welch and David Rawlings! great album. 5

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Sun Jun 09 2024
5

I'm mad at myself. I love Americana and I've heard Gillian's name mentioned online in spaces which cater to my music taste. I love Joanna Newsom, Bill Callahan, Neko Case, Songs: Ohia, and just everything in this scene. I'm giving this 5 stars on the strength of the final sprawling track alone. The rest of the album is a warm bath that I'll soak in for years to come, but that final track has signalled both a new revelation and a sadness of passing and letting go on every listen so far.

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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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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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