Joanna Newsom – Have One On Me

Before this album, I had counted Joanna Newsom out. I could never see when or why I would be in the mood to listen to her avant-folk-chamber-???. From my few listens to Ys and from what I had read about her, it was clear that this Californian was a talented songwriter and an inspiring free spirit, but she just wasn’t for me. But, as I often do, I bought into the hype surrounding Have One On Me, and decided to download it and see what I thought. This is a fantastic album. Maybe it’s been my recent late-night, beer-drenched fascination with Joni Mitchell’s Blue, or my maturing love of Jethro Tull’s minstrel-esque, midievel sound, but Newsom seems to have blended them both and added her own literary genius songwriting t create something that really appeals to me. Newsom, who plays harp and piano has taken a real step forward with this sprawling masterpiece. It’s a three disk album that lasts 2 hours, so my opinion is still pretty surface level. All I can sayat this point in time, is that each song is lyrically dense with beautiful instrumentation. Newsom still experiments with her voice in quirky ways, but she really sounds like Joni Mitchell on this album, especially when you compare her voice to past works. Because it’s such a long, complex album, I think my opinion will only improve as I grow more familiar with this album. That’s a sign that this is one of the early favorites for top album of 2010.

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