Hush

Hush

5.0 3
by Jane Siberry
     
 
For her first all-covers collection -- and her first studio album since 1996 - visionary singer and songwriter Jane Siberry has created artfully layered new arrangements for some of her favorite songs, dressing her distinctively airy voice in shimmering harmonies that add a reflective twist to the familiar gospel and folk tunes that she chooses to interpret here. The

Overview

For her first all-covers collection -- and her first studio album since 1996 - visionary singer and songwriter Jane Siberry has created artfully layered new arrangements for some of her favorite songs, dressing her distinctively airy voice in shimmering harmonies that add a reflective twist to the familiar gospel and folk tunes that she chooses to interpret here. The spiritual motif begins on the album's opening track, a haunting rendition of "Jacob's Ladder," and continues with the haunting hymn "All Through the Night" and the classic gospel tune "Swing Low Sweet Chariot." She draws from the folk tradition for the touching tunes "As I Roved Out" and "The Water Is Wide," reaches into America's frontier past for a moving interpretation of "Shenandoah," and recasts the showtune standard "Ol'Man River" as a meditation on the subject of perseverance in midst of suffering. The album's standout track on the disc may be the least expected, the well-worn cowboy song "Streets of Laredo," which, in Siberry's hands, takes on the quality of a meditation on loss, illuminating a new aspect of the song's original spirit.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Chris Nickson
Jane Siberry has always had a very individual way of looking at music, and when she turns her gaze below the 49th parallel to the music of America, things get interesting. She brings her usual floating quality to a gospel tune like "Jacob's Ladder," and finds romance rather than tragedy in "Streets of Laredo." "False False Fly," whose origins are in British folk, gets a hip-hop beat, but for the most part, her takes are languid, letting the music and lyrics breathe, and finding new facets in the surrounding air. Pretty much without exception, the pieces are familiar, which lands her in dangerous territory -- such reinterpretation is messing with things people love. But for the first two-thirds of the record, it works like magic. For the last three tracks, however, the spell seems to fail. "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," "Ol' Man River," and a medley of "O Shenandoah" and "Sail Away" just don't have the gravity -- perhaps because two of them are better suited to the resonating depth of the male voice. Still, Siberry makes art out of history for most of the album, and a record like this truly does confirm that she's a real artist, with a unique take on the world, able to put everything through her own particular prism. So while it's not the most successful contemporary take on American roots music, it's still satisfying, and more than repays the time invested.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/26/2000
Label:
Sounds True Direct
UPC:
0600835012126
catalogNumber:
121

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Hush 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As you may know, Jane's an artist who's pursued her muse regardless of the currents of fashion, so you can expect HUSH will be outside the margins, a different world. Tender, touching, revealing, rewarding... this isn't a record for the hurried ear. Prepare for an airy affair, more lullaby than pick-me-up, more ambience than groove. The vibe is minimal, stretched out and up close, the sentiment gently spirited. If I may offer you a listener's hint, a way to warm to this subtle work, I'd paint this impression: Relax and set the tone for a mood of reminiscence. Dim the brightness; quiet the din, by fireside or candle's glow. Retreat into a sanctuary of your very own. Sip spirits and treasure sweet moments of old. Let Jane's lilting voice evoke simple days gone by; afternoon tea, front-porch swings, lemonade stands, and languid walks by the lazy river. With this approach I believe you'll uncover something special, something new - Jane Siberry at her most heartfelt, approachable, and true.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is simply beautiful. Jane performs most instruments, showcasing her many talents, the best of which is her airy, emotive voice. ''The Water is Wide'' is my favorite track. It's a song re-done by lots of artists recently, but Jane's is by far the best version. Siberry's earlier albums, while also beautiful, are not as readily accesible to most listeners. In my experience, HUSH is liked by most listeners immediately, probably because most songs are familiar. But her versions are not always predictable. This album make an ideal Christmas gift. Many of my friends will be receiving it this year!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Yes, I've admittedly been fascinated with the quirkily, endearingly contagiousness of Jane Siberry's music since my first listen. As with her previous work, this CD is to the ears what fairground funnel cake is to the nose--arresting, sweet, and immediately provacative. But, with Jane, that's just the beginning: as you process the familiar words of these childhood songs with all her too strange harmonies and fun house mirror time warps, she sets off the nerve endings, successfully changing physical waves into emotional excitation. The resulting little shivers of ''touch'' are the hallmark of only a few musicians and artists. Best of all, hers is an insidiously insider-only message delivered to those whose receptors are tuned to all things left of center. Jane's let you share her secret flipbook scene of the angel's halo tilting ever more wonderfully askew.