New Favorite

New Favorite

4.6 13
by Alison Krauss & Union Station
     
 

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Not only does New Favorite exceed the high standard Alison Krauss set for herself with 1999's solo masterpiece, Forget About It, but it finds the members of Union Station upping their game, too. And don't think Krauss hasn't noticed; she wisely shares the spotlight. Dan Tyminski -- whoSee more details below

Overview

Not only does New Favorite exceed the high standard Alison Krauss set for herself with 1999's solo masterpiece, Forget About It, but it finds the members of Union Station upping their game, too. And don't think Krauss hasn't noticed; she wisely shares the spotlight. Dan Tyminski -- who provided George Clooney's singing voice in O Brother, Where Are Thou? -- gives Krauss a good run for her money in the heart and soul department with a taut and dramatic reading of the traditional folk song, "The Boy Who Wouldn't Hoe Corn." The band roll out their collective and individual musical chops on dobro maestro Jerry Douglas's original instrumental, "Choctaw Hayride," a showcase for fancy pickin' and variations on a bright melody shadowed by melancholy. Guitarist Ron Block pitches in with a brutal bit of accusatory folk blues directed at a heartless woman, "It All Comes Down to You." Despite these stellar performances, in the end, it really all comes down to Alison Krauss. Her yearning, whispered sentiments on R. L. Castleman's "Let Me Touch You for Awhile" are as erotic for what's suggested as they are poignant for what's actually said; similarly, the sweetness in her gentle, straightforward delivery of another Castleman gem, "The Lucky One," belies the bitter aftertaste of a one-night stand. The album's closing title song comes by way of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. With Union Station offering discreet, somber support, Krauss nails it -- and the listener -- hard by distancing herself from the emotion, as if she's out of her own body watching her lover betray her for his "new favorite." Quiet and fragile, the deliberately detached singing hits with sledgehammer force, indicative of Krauss's absolute mastery of mood and nuance. New Favorite is a fully realized work of art on every level. God bless Alison Krauss & Union Station.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Zac Johnson
Following the success of the startlingly popular traditional old-timey soundtrack for the film O Brother, Where Art Thou?, contemporary bluegrass pioneers Alison Krauss & Union Station moved in the opposite direction for their 2001 release, New Favorite. While Krauss and Union Station guitarist/vocalist Dan Tyminski got deeply in touch with their dust bowl Americana roots for their work on the film, their follow-up studio album is certainly the slickest, most progressive work they've recorded to date. New Favorite seems almost neatly divided into two albums: one following the same path as Krauss' 1999 contemporary country solo album, Forget About It, and the other helmed by Tyminski, bringing a progressive slant to Union Station's traditional bluegrass feel. The whole album is well crafted (with the exception of Tyminski's laborious, drawn-out "The Boy Who Wouldn't Hoe Corn") but will certainly not sit right with certain elements of the band's core audience, which has come to know them as the strongest traditionally based bluegrass act still recording. The whole album feels a little too slick and reverbed out; the brilliant dobro work of Jerry Douglas seems echoey, and at times Krauss' vocals seem to be coming out of some deep studio well. The musicianship, however, is beyond top-notch. The players (specifically banjo player Ron Block and guitarist Tyminski) are among the best in the genre, and the harmonies between the two vocalists are stunning and sine-tingling. Their call and response vocals on "Daylight" serve as the highlight of the album, traced delicately by Douglas' dobro and chilling to the end.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/14/2001
Label:
Rounder / Umgd
UPC:
0011661049529
catalogNumber:
610495
Rank:
2155

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Alison Krauss & Union Station   Primary Artist
Alison Krauss   Indexed Contributor,Fiddle,Viola,Vocals,Baritone (Vocal)
Jerry Douglas   Dobro,Lap Steel Guitar
Larry Atamanuik   Percussion,Drums
Barry Bales   Bass,Vocals,Upright Bass
Ron Block   Banjo,Guitar,Vocals,Tenor (Vocal)
Dan Tyminski   Guitar,Mandolin,Vocals,Baritone (Vocal)

Technical Credits

Alison Krauss   Arranger,Producer
Gary Paczosa   Engineer
Dan Tyminski   Engineer
Jason Lehning   Engineer
Alison Krauss & Union Station   Producer
Frank Olinsky   Art Direction
Union Station   Producer
Traditional   Composer
Tracy Martinson   Engineer

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