Chinatown

Chinatown

4.0 2
by The Be Good Tanyas
     
 

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Embracing the Carter Family's Appalachian world of dread and Nick Drake's tragic mysticism, Vancouver's Be Good Tanyas have conjured a set of severe, captivating ruminations on life, love, and loss by way of Chinatown. The satisfying follow-up to their promising 2001 debut,

Overview

Embracing the Carter Family's Appalachian world of dread and Nick Drake's tragic mysticism, Vancouver's Be Good Tanyas have conjured a set of severe, captivating ruminations on life, love, and loss by way of Chinatown. The satisfying follow-up to their promising 2001 debut, Blue Horse, the primarily acoustic folk album achieves its drama from its exquisite, guitar-based arrangements: the gut-string solos and the forlorn harmonica that rise up out of the mix in the dark, desperate "Waiting to Die," the sly touches of country in the fiddle solo on "Reuben," and the discreet banjo licks of "Rowdy Blues." Chinatown is not, however, a full-on folk album; it's also informed by blues and even jazz -- check the haunting Miles-like trumpet floating through "Junkie Song," a chilling meditation about Vancouver's burgeoning heroin scene. One of the singers, Frazey Ford, sounds a bit like the young Joni Mitchell, with a soft, languid voice and idiosyncratic phrasing; Trish Klein shows off an upper register with a keening tone and rich vibrato not unlike the young Dolly Parton's; and Samantha Parton (no relation) sings with the breathy tenderness of the aforementioned Drake. There's a lot of life unspooling in these songs, not all of it pretty but all of it honest and honestly rendered. What's more, in the heartbreaking harmonies and winsome instrumental lines of "Dogsong 2," the Be Good Tanyas achieve a transcendent calm as they lament the death of a beloved pet. You have to go back to the Byrds' "Old Blue" or Elvis's take on Red Foley's "Old Shep" to find a dog song rendered with such deep affection and genuine emotion. That's some deep stuff.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Robert L. Doerschuk
The homespun, slightly quirky approach that guided the Be Good Tanyas on Blue Horse permeates their enigmatically titled sophomore release too. If anything, these performances beckon the listener even more into the material, as a fiery hearth might draw strangers together on a cold night. The singing is raggedy and breathy, the instruments gently strummed or stroked; like whispered intimacies, these elements cast a conversational spell. When something extra is added, it comes in minimal doses -- a sprinkle of barely audible electric guitar and unobtrusive strings enhance, rather than delete, the acoustic ambience on "Dogsong 2," while two cameos by Olu Dara stir memories of Joni Mitchell's early tapestries of folk and jazz. No single tracks stand out, but that may be intentional; by sustaining its blurry, wistful mood with neither gimmick nor interruption, Chinatown feels like an evening well spent with old friends.
fRoots
You rarely hear albums as naturally intimate as this. Give it the chance and it will surely haunt you for the rest of the year

Product Details

Release Date:
07/25/2006
Label:
Imports
UPC:
5037703059306
catalogNumber:
632444

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Be Good Tanyas   Primary Artist
Olu Dara   Cornet
Paul Clifford   Drums
Diane Williams   Vocal Harmony
Aaron Chapman   Saw
Samantha Parton   Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin,Ukulele,Vocals
Frazey Ford   Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin,Vocals
Trish Klein   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Harmonica,Mandolin,Electric Guitar,Vocals
Jolie Holland   Fiddle,Vocal Harmony
Roey Shemesh   Double Bass,Fretless Bass Guitar,Bowed Bass,Guest Appearance
Martin Green   Accordion
Andrew Burden   Acoustic Bass

Technical Credits

Peter Rowan   Composer
Robert Plant   Composer
John Paul Jones   Composer
Chad Brown   Engineering
Danny Kopelson   Engineering
P.D. Scots Pipe Band   Composer
Townes Van Zandt   Composer
Sandra Schultz   Recording Assistant
Mike Rogerson   Recording Assistant
Be Good Tanyas   Composer
Samantha Parton   Composer,Drawing
Frazey Ford   Composer
Jason Marcucci   Engineering
John Ellis   Engineer
Adam McGhie   Recording Assistant
Jeff Servais   Recording Assistant
Buddy Baxter   Engineering

Customer Reviews

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Chinatown 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had some friends from the office over this weekend and we really had a blast listening to this one. I work at an office supply outlet and most of the time we are all really bored at work, so we decided to cut loose and have a party! I made out with 3 chicks from the office and stole money out of this guy Jeff's jacket! He's a real prick to work with, so I didn't feel bad about it. Call it a party donation. This cd kept us rockin' all night, though! We were doing the mambo and the hussle to 4 in the morn! I got big-time sick the next day, though. I had a splitting headache and high pressure diarrhea through the evening. I can't wait until this summer when the band comes around on tour. Most of us from the office will definitely go see them!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago