Natural Wonder

( 3 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Phoebe Snow released her last major-label album in 1989, but returned to record-making in 1998 with I Can't Complain, an all-covers album for the House of Blues label. Five years on from that, she is back on Eagle Records with Natural Wonder, which makes a case for artistic reinvention not only because it is the first disc to feature any of her original compositions in 14 years, but also because those songs are largely devoted to issues of self-actualization and spirituality. And one more thing: Snow, who spent much of her major-label career flirting with sophisticated jazz-pop, here returns to very much of a pop
ock style, guided by ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Phoebe Snow released her last major-label album in 1989, but returned to record-making in 1998 with I Can't Complain, an all-covers album for the House of Blues label. Five years on from that, she is back on Eagle Records with Natural Wonder, which makes a case for artistic reinvention not only because it is the first disc to feature any of her original compositions in 14 years, but also because those songs are largely devoted to issues of self-actualization and spirituality. And one more thing: Snow, who spent much of her major-label career flirting with sophisticated jazz-pop, here returns to very much of a pop
ock style, guided by her co-producer, Jim Chapdelaine, who fills the arrangements with guitar work played by Roger Butterley, Jim Mastro, and himself. That funky sound which Phil Ramone got on Snow's Columbia Records albums of the '70s is gone. So, to a large extent, is the confusion about whether Snow is a singer/songwriter or an interpretive singer. There are only two covers on the album, and while one of them is the sort of thing old fans might expect, a take on the Four Tops' "Baby, I Need Your Loving"; the other is one they probably wouldn't: a moody, intense reading of rock band Live's '90s hit "Lightning Crashes." But that's only two songs out of 11; the rest are Snow originals, albeit eight of them co-writes with a variety of others. On them, Snow makes clear at the outset that she is an emotional veteran who has made it through with philosophical and spiritual help. Opening track "Sahara" is not about the desert, it's about a person named Sahara Sunday Spain, whom Snow thanks in the acknowledgements for "divine inspiration," something one would have thought only God could provide. But Sahara does do something: "She says don't be frightened," Snow explains in the chorus, "Says we're all enlightened." The person or being giving guidance in the next song, "How Beautiful," is not named, but seems equally helpful. "You are my mantra," Snow begins. Those of a less religious turn of mind may be more comfortable with the more down-to-earth self-help messages conveyed in the bouncy "Above the Band," which is full of advice -- "Tell a joke, don't smoke, be a little careless," etc. -- and with the emphatic "Changed," in which the heightened language is leavened with more practical matters. "I've been changed/Purified by the flame," Snow proclaims, adding, "I remember how my last $20 was spent." Happily, all this concern with uplift has not prevented the songwriter from falling in love now and then, although, as usual, the experience is not a smooth one, as revealed in "The Other Girlfriend" (that's what the singer complains she is) and "Key to the Street," in which Snow, in her only sole composition, heeds the advice of a psychic to turn out a succession of unsuitable suitors. Ultimately, the Snow fan is likely to be less concerned with whatever spiritual guidance she has followed to keep her going to this point than relieved that, once again, it is possible to hear her sing on a disc and not just in a TV or radio commercial. Her voice itself remains a natural wonder, and if the jazz elements of her music have been purged this time around, she is just as good a rock singer as she ever was, making her return to action a cause for celebration.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/17/2003
  • Label: Eagle Records
  • UPC: 826992001623
  • Catalog Number: 20016
  • Sales rank: 144,490

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Sahara (4:14)
  2. 2 How Beautiful (5:30)
  3. 3 The Other Girlfriend (4:21)
  4. 4 Ever Surprised (4:53)
  5. 5 Lightning Crashes (5:34)
  6. 6 Above the Band (3:39)
  7. 7 Changed (5:18)
  8. 8 Natural Wonder (3:52)
  9. 9 Key to the Street (4:25)
  10. 10 Baby, I Need Your Loving (5:33)
  11. 11 Going Home (4:08)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Phoebe Snow Primary Artist
Steve Burgh Electric Guitar
David Z. Electric Guitar
Shannon Ford Percussion, Drums
Michael Mancini Organ, Synthesizer, Piano, Wurlitzer
Jim Mastro Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Electric Guitar, Guitar (Baritone)
Jim Chapdelaine Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Guitar, Electric Guitar, Ukulele, Background Vocals, 12-string Guitar, Fretless Bass Guitar, Guitar (Baritone)
Brian Dozoretz Bass
John Peckman Percussion, Drums
Roger Butterley Synthesizer, Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Percussion, Electric Guitar, Background Vocals, 12-string Guitar
Joe Grieco Piano, Vocals
Tim Tindall Bass
Technical Credits
Djam Karet Composer
Phoebe Snow Composer, Producer
Kevin Bents Composer
Greg Calbi Mastering
Lamont Dozier Composer
Shannon Ford Loop
Eddie Holland Composer
Brian Holland Composer
Dave Kowalski Engineer
Gerard McMahon Composer
Don Yowell Composer
Jim Chapdelaine Producer, Instrumentation
Tina Shafer Composer
Brian Dozoretz Engineer
David Wilson Executive Producer
Roger Butterley Engineer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Phoebe Snow - Beautiful, Above the Band

    It was my great privilege to serve as guest host and introduce Ms. Snow at the New York Songwriters' Circle. The gift that is Phoebe Snow shines brightly through her new CD, "Natural Wonder." Singing real music, she engages her audience with her signature sound. Clearly, any concert hall would be fortunate to have her. Thank you Phoebe Snow. And, thank you Tina Shafer, host of the New York Songwriters' Circle, and songwriter for "Above the Band."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Phoebe's Rocking on this new one!

    I've been listening to this collection in my cd mixes and find the songwriting, band and especially the vocals are not your usual, they've got a nice live feel and not trying to catch on to any current trends. Phoebe hasn't really had a batch of songs that do her justice in quite awhile. Although she can be killer when she's slow tempo and with the right producers she's put out a collection of tunes thats fresh and different but showcases her one and a million voice, yes at times almost bombastic, at times reaching for impossible notes but always real, she doesn't have to force herself to sing, she's got some pipes that any singer would envy. The more you take this in the more I'm growing to really enjoy the many sides of this whole project. I give it 5 stars as its not your usual pop project but something from the heart and inspiring, a rock project in every way! Thanks Pheobe for this gift, excellent band also and please don't make us wait so long, get out their and show them what makes you so special, that VOICE!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Phoebe Snow continues to be a Natural Wonder

    Phoebe Snow is one of those rare artists that comes along every once in a long while, transcending time and genre. Her music has inspired an entire generation of singer/songwriters, longing to achieve the artistic integrity and praise that Phoebe has over the years. "Natural Wonder" is further proof that Phoebe will likely inspire the next generation of songwriters with the infectious melodies of songs like "Sahara," and "Baby, I need your Loving." I have always been a fan, but last year I got to have the rare experience of co-writing with Phoebe for this album. The first day we got together, we wrote 3 songs. Among those songs were, "Ever Surprised" and "Natural Wonder." ...Ahh...a day I'll NEVER forget! Enjoy! Drew Yowell

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews