Are You With Me?

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
In listening to Paul Thorn's fourth album, and the direct follow-up to 2002's iconoclastic wonder Mission Temple Fire Works Stand, one cannot help but think that he's spent some time listening to other people's records as well. Are You With Me is a collection of self-penned songs about love; for, against, happy, sad, grief-stricken and bewildered. Nonetheless, it feels like a singer's record. In the laid-back, R&B-drenched grooves one can imagine Thorn listening to recordings as diverse as Lowell George's Thanks I'll Eat It Here, Frankie Miller's High Life, Willy Deville's Backstreets of Desire, Boz Scaggs' Some Change, and Allen Toussaint's From a Whisper to a Scream. ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
In listening to Paul Thorn's fourth album, and the direct follow-up to 2002's iconoclastic wonder Mission Temple Fire Works Stand, one cannot help but think that he's spent some time listening to other people's records as well. Are You With Me is a collection of self-penned songs about love; for, against, happy, sad, grief-stricken and bewildered. Nonetheless, it feels like a singer's record. In the laid-back, R&B-drenched grooves one can imagine Thorn listening to recordings as diverse as Lowell George's Thanks I'll Eat It Here, Frankie Miller's High Life, Willy Deville's Backstreets of Desire, Boz Scaggs' Some Change, and Allen Toussaint's From a Whisper to a Scream. It's not that Thorn's fine album sounds like these discs in the slightest, or that he actually referenced them, it's the feel that's similar. Those familiar with Thorn's rollicking blues-based approach to rhythm and blues will be surprised this time out because the Tupelo, Mississippi native's sound comes right from heart of Southern soul on this outing. The album feels like a suite, examining all the stages of love, from bliss to heartbreak, from acceptance to the willingness to try again. Horns, backing vocalists and funky basslines abound in tracks like "She Won't Cheat on Us," as do the shimmering snare and hand drums prompting languid syncopated guitars and a gritty, emotionally honest vocal on "I Want You to Love on Me." There's the dirty horns and B3 that frame "High," and the light, Caribbean-soul inflected R&B that slips and winds around the singer in "If I Can Get Over Her," and the post-midnight smoky groove where crooner and in-the-pocket six-strings pair on "That's a Lie" that preempts the summery afternoon shimmy of "I Don't Wanna Know." Everywhere the sound of Southern Soul permeates, and Thorn's sweet croon rises above and slips through his words. Thorn is the kind of wordsmith where humor, tragedy and emotional honesty entwine and intermingle -- check out the simmering deep soul of "If You Can't Love Me Forever." This album stands in sharp contrast to the barroom rowdiness of his earlier outings; if this record lacks the intensity that Mission Temple Fire Works Stand has, it's because it is supposed to. There is real vulnerability in Thorn's protagonists and the way he sings their truths; they're never wimps, they're merely hopeful or broken men trying to communicate from inside their experiences. Ultimately, Thorn shows once again he's a songwriter to be reckoned with, but this time out he proves in spades that he's a soul singer who can slip down into the murk and mess of human emotions with style and aplomb.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/10/2004
  • Label: Narada
  • UPC: 724357086226
  • Catalog Number: 70862
  • Sales rank: 85,184

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Paul Thorn Primary Artist, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Finger Snapping
Cindy Walker Background Vocals
Bob Britt Dobro, Guitar, Electric Guitar, 12-string Guitar, Classical Guitar, Lap Steel Guitar, Soloist, Guitar (12 String Electric)
Michael Graham Organ, Synthesizer, Piano, Strings, Keyboards, Loops, fender rhodes, Wurlitzer, Soloist, Guitar (Baritone)
Charles Rose Trombone
Harvey Thompson Saxophone
Stan Thorn Organ, Piano, Wurlitzer
Doug Kahan Bass, Bass Guitar, Fretless Bass Guitar, Guitar (Baritone)
Vinnie Ciesielski Trumpet
Bill Hinds Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Electric Guitar, Soloist, Hi String, Guitar (Baritone)
Jeff Perkins Drums
Mariel B. Lewy Background Vocals
Billy Maddox Finger Snapping
Carla Russell Background Vocals
Richard Dabbs Bass
Mitchell Maddox Finger Snapping
Weylon Michael Guitar, Electric Guitar, Soloist
Jason Palmer Percussion, Drums, Tambourine, Finger Snapping
Kit Thorn Finger Snapping
Weylon Michael Guitar, Electric Guitar
Technical Credits
Michael Graham Engineer, Contributor
Charles Rose Horn Arrangements
L.E. White Composer
Sweet-Tea Producer, Audio Production
Paul Thorn Composer, Artwork
The Black Eyed Peas Producer, Audio Production
Billy Maddox Engineer
Jason Green Digital Manipulation
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