Mortal City

( 3 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Rick Anderson
On the first track of her second album, Dar Williams makes clear her intention to break out of the acoustic singer/songwriter ghetto: "As Cool As I Am" is full-out rock & roll with funky drums and a chorus built on massed choo-choo harmonicas. She doesn't stay in rock mode for long, but the more aggressive approach continues to inform her sound even when she retreats into a more typical acoustic setting. It's interesting to note that as her music gets more consistent, so do her lyrics. Over a spare guitar-and-cello accompaniment, she muses on the various ways that February can symbolize stages in a relationship "And when we got home, we just started chopping ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Rick Anderson
On the first track of her second album, Dar Williams makes clear her intention to break out of the acoustic singer/songwriter ghetto: "As Cool As I Am" is full-out rock & roll with funky drums and a chorus built on massed choo-choo harmonicas. She doesn't stay in rock mode for long, but the more aggressive approach continues to inform her sound even when she retreats into a more typical acoustic setting. It's interesting to note that as her music gets more consistent, so do her lyrics. Over a spare guitar-and-cello accompaniment, she muses on the various ways that February can symbolize stages in a relationship "And when we got home, we just started chopping wood/Because you never know how next year will be". Elsewhere she finds her boyfriend "in the arms of a Student Against the Treacherous Use of Fur" and wishes she hadn't called a certain friend to help her move out. Funny? Oh, yes -- "The Christians and the Pagans" is hysterical, and so is "The Pointless, Yet Poignant, Crisis of a Co-Ed" believe it or not. And it's the humor gone before that makes a song as naked as "Family" or as conceptually risky as "This Was Pompeii" come across not just well, but with enormous power. The really exciting thing is that her next album is even better.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/23/1996
  • Label: Razor & Tie
  • UPC: 793018282123
  • Catalog Number: 82821
  • Sales rank: 213,691

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Dar Williams Primary Artist, Guitar, Vocals
Cliff Eberhardt Vocals
Mark Egan Bass
William Galison Harmonica
Jeff Golub Electric Guitar
Lucy Kaplansky Vocals
Art Baron Didjeridu
Larry Campbell Dobro, Guitar, Mandolin, Drums
Erik Friedlander Cello
Steve Gaboury Piano
Zev Katz Bass
Sammy Merendino Rhythm
Roger Squitero Conga
Billy Ward Drums, Snare Drums
Gideon Freudmann Cello
Katryna Nields Vocals
Nerissa Nields Vocals
Technical Credits
Dar Williams Composer
Jose Garcia Contributor, Digital Illustration
Ted Jensen Mastering
Steven Miller Producer, Engineer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

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3 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Extremely underrated, amazing record

    If you like intelligence and beauty, this record hits your top ten all time. Often the lyrics are brighter than Lennon-McCartney. The first song on this album to grab you will be February, haunting and beautiful, covered by Joan Baez on her Gone From Danger CD. But as you continue to listen, over several weeks, your favorite song will change. So many are so beautiful. After a while, Pompeii will hit you like a volcano. Damn, girl, you're amazing. You'll like Pagans right off, with its cute story of pagan young women visiting Christian relatives for Christmas dinner. Crisis is funny. Southern Cali Wants To Be Western New York is perhaps my favorite now, with great lyrics. But the title cut is a work of art too. And Iowa is another contender for best here. For that matter, so are the ones I didn't mention. Folk music used to get air play. This album isn't like the old folk music. True, there's acoustic guitar. But the lyric is all Dar. She's so unique, it's not folk, it's Dar. Her voice is something else too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews