Is the Actor Happy? [Bonus Tracks]

Is the Actor Happy? [Bonus Tracks]

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by Vic Chesnutt
     
 

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Vic Chesnutt's fourth album was the one that raised his profile from an almost entirely unknown cult figure to a mostly unknown cult figure with a lot of good press clippings. Combining the best parts of his last two albums -- the wide-ranging eclecticism of West of Rome and the electric directness of Drunk -- into a satisfyingSee more details below

Overview

Vic Chesnutt's fourth album was the one that raised his profile from an almost entirely unknown cult figure to a mostly unknown cult figure with a lot of good press clippings. Combining the best parts of his last two albums -- the wide-ranging eclecticism of West of Rome and the electric directness of Drunk -- into a satisfying whole, Is the Actor Happy? has an unexpectedly clean production aesthetic (courtesy of new producer John Keane) and some of Chesnutt's strongest songwriting. If anything, this might be the album's primary flaw; at its best, Chesnutt's music always sounds balanced on a knife edge, with a nagging sense that the whole thing could fall apart at any second, even though it never quite does. This album lacks that tension, and although it's chock-full of good to great songs, "Gravity of the Situation" and the gently self-mocking "Onion Soup" being two of Chesnutt's finest, that lack is just enough to make Is the Actor Happy? slightly less essential than the two albums that preceded it. The 2004 reissue on New West Records includes six bonus tracks, mostly previously unissued live recordings, including "Fun Party/Shoestring Store," Chesnutt's first collaboration with Lambchop, with whom he would go on to record The Salesman and Bernadette.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/15/2004
Label:
New West Records
UPC:
0607396605620
catalogNumber:
6056
Rank:
55467

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Vic Chesnutt   Primary Artist,Guitar,Harmonica,Vocals,Soloist
Andy Carlson   Violin
John Keane   Guitar,Pedal Steel Guitar,12-string Guitar
Michael Stipe   Vocals
Kera Schaley   Cello
David Henry   Cello
Tina W. Chesnutt   Bass,Bass Guitar
Alex McManus   Guitar,Concertina,Rhythm Guitar,Thumb Piano,Kalimba
Jimmy Davidson   Synthesizer,Piano,Drums,Hammond Organ,Hammond B3
Liz Durrett   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Bob Mould   Composer
Vic Chesnutt   Composer,Reissue Producer,Cover Art
Peter Jesperson   Reissue Producer
John Keane   Producer,Audio Production
Shirley Manson   Montage
Hank Tilbury   Engineer
Gabriel Boone Cohen   Engineer
Rob Veal   Composer
Tina W. Chesnutt   Cover Photo
Gavin Lurssen   Remastering
Chuck Hermes   Reissue Package Design
Forest Gander   Poetry,Liner Notes,translation

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