Keren Ann

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jeff Tamarkin
Keren Ann Zeidel's international pedigree -- born in Tel Aviv, raised in Paris, now splits her time between there and New York -- served her well on her first four albums, but this fifth, sung entirely in English, is her most worldly yet. Chalk that up, one would suppose, to a busy touring life and a growing confidence to experiment both with identity and available musical tools. By self-titling the album, Keren Ann is by default making a statement that this is her statement. That means that the recording would have to be not only extra-special good but representative of who she thinks she is at the moment it is unleashed on an ever-growing audience. And it is that good: ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jeff Tamarkin
Keren Ann Zeidel's international pedigree -- born in Tel Aviv, raised in Paris, now splits her time between there and New York -- served her well on her first four albums, but this fifth, sung entirely in English, is her most worldly yet. Chalk that up, one would suppose, to a busy touring life and a growing confidence to experiment both with identity and available musical tools. By self-titling the album, Keren Ann is by default making a statement that this is her statement. That means that the recording would have to be not only extra-special good but representative of who she thinks she is at the moment it is unleashed on an ever-growing audience. And it is that good: it's the singer/songwriter's most far-reaching, defining album yet. While her trademark wisp of a voice still dominates most of the album's real estate, it meets up here with a different, more aggressive and courageous Keren Ann as well: on "It Ain't No Crime," with its heavy blues thump and screaming distorted guitar, she sings in a compressed, insistent voice, "There are no victims/There is no truth/We take their money/They take our youth," something so surprisingly shivery the Keren Ann of albums one through four would never have dared go there. The record, at times, is a circus of sounds, an ornate hodgepodge of moody keyboards and skronky guitars, wordless angel chorales, ambient electronics, airy woodwinds and overcharged fuzzboxes. On the album's minimal, Velvets-ish opener, "It's All a Lie," a slow build sucks in droning bass and distant sonic chaos beneath Keren Ann's typically languid vocal. She barely rises above Cowboy Junkies lethargy, and the song never picks up the pace from there but, drenched in reverb, a climax sneaks up, the song finally sputtering around directionless like a balloon whose air has been let out. On "The Harder Ships of the World," over lightly plucked guitar, she manages to squeeze every bit of expression out of an almost non-existent range of dynamics, barely rising above a whisper but drenching every word in raw emotion. More so than before, perhaps, Keren Ann seems to be enjoying herself, directing her music less self-consciously than before and asserting her eagerness to shift moods and stretch the sonic easel on which she builds. Her enunciation, no doubt because of her geographic rootlessness, isn't always as clear as it could be, but that indistinctiveness ultimately serves to add an even larger air of mystery to the already mysterious. The six-minute tour de force "Liberty" spends its last couple of minutes dishing out a repetitive piano tinkle, disembodied vocal chorus and aimless, backwards looped instruments -- all of that vies for attention but the singer pays it no mind as she goes about her business. On "Lay Your Head Down," polyrhythmic handclaps and surfy guitar precede a half-spoken intro, which suddenly morphs into utter prettiness. Keren Ann never really says more than "Why don't you lay your head down in my arms?," allowing the various strings, harmonica and layered vocals to amend her thoughts. She doesn't need to: she's said all she has to say. Keren Ann fills all of the air and space here but the music never feels crowded and never loses its way. Only an artist who has run head-on into self-discovery can get away with that.
Spin Magazine
Keren Ann’s folk-pop ballads hit the brain’s late-night pleasure spot. [Keren Ann] subtly tweaks that formula, adding ambient blips, electric guitars, and even some gently up-tempo grooves.
Billboard
"Lay Your Head Down" is perhaps the best recording she’s ever made. Airy atmospheres and delicate details add beauty to this stark but commanding soundscape.
CMJ New Music Monthly
Keren Ann has continued to carve out a reputation as one of the more prodigious singer-songwriters of the past decade... Her new self-titled album is another stunner.
Time Out New York
Keren Ann reveals the assurance of a fully developed artist. [Her] compositions are becoming increasingly elaborate, such as the gentle, six-minute masterpiece ‘Liberty,’ which culminates in heavenly choral vocals... Most of the record burns slowly, but intricate details add sparkle.

"Lay Your Head Down" is perhaps the best recording she’s ever made. Airy atmospheres and delicate details add beauty to this stark but commanding soundscape.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/8/2007
  • Label: Blue Note Records
  • UPC: 094638510321
  • Catalog Number: 85103

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Keren Ann Primary Artist, Bass, Guitar, Harmonica, Piano, Hammond Organ, Vocals, Multi Instruments
Karen Brunon Strings, Violin
Laurent Vernerey Bass
Sigurdur Bjarki Gunnarsson Cello
Avishai Cohen Trumpet
Roland Hartwell Violin
Regis Ceccarelli Drums
David Maurin Drums
Albin de la Simone Hammond Organ, Hammond B3
Christophe Morin Strings, Cello
Bardi Johannsson Multi Instruments
Dadi Birgisson Piano
David Maruin Percussion
Ragnheidur Arnbjorg-Gudrudur Halldora Choir, Chorus
Thomas Semence Bass, Guitar
Magic Malik Flute
Bjarki Gunnarsson Cello
Dadi Birgisson Piano
Arnbjorg Background Vocals
Ragnheidur Background Vocals
Halldora Background Vocals
Gudrudur Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Bob Ludwig Mastering
Tom Sarig Management
Keren Ann Composer, Programming, Producer, Engineer, String Arrangements, Choir Arrangement
Bruno Dejarnac Producer, Engineer
Jean Lamoot Engineer
Bardi Johannsson Composer, Programming, Engineer
Hubert Decottignies Engineer
Bruno Desjarnac Engineer
Valgeir Sigurðsson Engineer
Haffi Tempo Engineer
Keren-Ann Zeidel Audio Production
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 2 )
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4 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Good

    It's still taking me a while to get fully into this girl, but this album is very impressive. "Lay Your Head Down" is an incredible alt-folk song. What's holding me back is that the album is very slow throughout, a couple more powerful or upbeat songs may have given it a 5 star rating for me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews