If You Didn't Laugh, You'd Cry

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Tim Sendra
On Marah's fifth album, If You Didn't Laugh You'd Cry, the group casts aside the big and glossy productions of the last couple records and adopts a more intimate and loose feel. The album was recorded pretty much live in the studio and the sound is stripped down and very immediate. Stripped down but still rife with horns, strings, glockenspiels, percussion and handclaps and still filled with the kind of surprises like the glittery disco beats on "The Hustle" or the Beach Boys-influenced vocal harmonies that begin "The Demon of White Sadness," to name but a couple that have always helped separate the band from their over-earnest alt-country/Americana competition. Another ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Tim Sendra
On Marah's fifth album, If You Didn't Laugh You'd Cry, the group casts aside the big and glossy productions of the last couple records and adopts a more intimate and loose feel. The album was recorded pretty much live in the studio and the sound is stripped down and very immediate. Stripped down but still rife with horns, strings, glockenspiels, percussion and handclaps and still filled with the kind of surprises like the glittery disco beats on "The Hustle" or the Beach Boys-influenced vocal harmonies that begin "The Demon of White Sadness," to name but a couple that have always helped separate the band from their over-earnest alt-country/Americana competition. Another thing that has always separated them has been David Bielanko's lyrics and vocals, and they are better than ever here. His loopy and wild-eyed vocals deliver his street poet lines with intense beauty throughout. He even restrains himself -- for a change -- on some of the ballads, especially "City of Dreams," on which he sounds almost angelic. The songs are among the band's best and most varied, whether they're rampaging rockers "Fat Boy" or "Poor People", wild lyrical flights of fancy "The Closer", emotional tours de force "So What if We're Outta Tune [With the Rest of the World]", heartbreaking character sketches "The Dishwasher's Dream" or confessions "The Apartment". Every song is a direct punch to the heart, written and played with a fever that only the best rock & roll has. Their focus on the song and the performance, rather than the sound and the production, has proved to be a stroke of genius; the band has never sounded more honest or important. If You Didn't Laugh You'd Cry is the kind of record Dylan might make in 2005 if he were still making records as good as Highway 61 Revisited, or the kind of record Springsteen might make if he were updating Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.. Marah will never make the widespread cultural impact of those two artists and this record won't make them rich or famous, but it is a monster rock & roll album that you flat-out need to hear, their best yet. And that is really saying something.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/18/2005
  • Label: Yep Roc Records
  • UPC: 634457209824
  • Catalog Number: 2098
  • Sales rank: 113,425

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Marah Primary Artist
Mike Brenner Bass, Dobro, Electric Guitar, Steel Guitar
Jon Wurster Drums
Adam Garbinski Guitar, Electric Guitar
Dave Petersen Drums, Background Vocals
Tom Psipsikas Castanets
"Magic" Matt Osiol Piano
Kirk Henderson Organ, Bass, Piano, Background Vocals, Mellotron
Technical Credits
Steve Rosenthal Engineer
Marah Audio Production
Emily Lazar Mastering
David Bielanko Composer
Serge Bielanko Composer
Matt Boynton Engineer
Peter Wark Executive Producer
Kirk Henderson Engineer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    God Bless Rock and Roll

    Brilliant, beautiful, heartbreaking, hysterical, subtle, strong and rocks out.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews