Pretty Runs Out

Pretty Runs Out

5.0 1
by Amanda Shaw
     
 

It takes supreme confidence in your abilities to cut a debut album that embraces a barnburning Cajun fiddle instrumental; a moody, Diane Warren-penned pop heartbreaker originally cut by Cyndi Lauper ("I Don't Want to Be Your Friend"); a Zep-influenced heavy rock grinder ("Easy on Your Way Out"); and a stack of original songs. Welcome 16-year-old,…  See more details below

Overview

It takes supreme confidence in your abilities to cut a debut album that embraces a barnburning Cajun fiddle instrumental; a moody, Diane Warren-penned pop heartbreaker originally cut by Cyndi Lauper ("I Don't Want to Be Your Friend"); a Zep-influenced heavy rock grinder ("Easy on Your Way Out"); and a stack of original songs. Welcome 16-year-old, Louisiana-born-and-bred wunderkind Amanda Shaw, on whom too much praise cannot be heaped. She writes with a wisdom befitting a more worldly lass, attacks the fiddle with a fluid, historically resonant style (betraying influences ranging from the Cajun legend Denis McGee to Doug Kershaw to Richard Greene to Stuart Duncan), and sings in a husky, pixie-ish voice that is at once innocent and earthy, sort of a cross between Kasey Chambers and Deana Carter. And what songs! The five penned by Shaw herself include a shimmering, stomping swamp-pop confection redolent of Tony Joe White ("Chimolito"); a sputtering, honking, funk ditty, "Brick Wall"; and the penetrating advisory "Pretty Runs Out," which urges, "read beyond the magazine pages / they don't tell you that a supermodel ages / don't you know / that pretty runs out." The last young whippersnapper to emerge with the whole musical package so fully formed, so fluent in the pan-cultural lingo, and so unabashed in revealing the heart was Nickel Creek's Chris Thile. That's heady company to be in, but Shaw gives every indication of following the same adventurous direction that's invigorated Thile's work in and out of Nickel Creek. She's arrived, and she belongs.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Rick Anderson
Only 16 years of age, New Orleans fiddler/songwriter/singer Amanda Shaw makes an impressive debut with Pretty Runs Out, an album that runs a fairly wide gamut of musical styles but never sounds like it comes from anyplace other than her home town. The title track, which opens the album, carries with it a faint whiff of the new wave '80s (there's just a touch of Kate Bush in the melody), and the funky beats and snotty lyrics on "Brick Wall" somehow manage to sound like a French Quarter version of middle-period Talking Heads (with horns and some very greasy guitar). "I Don't Want to Be Your Friend" is a brilliant country-Cajun romantic kiss-off song written by Diane Warren, originally recorded by Cyndi Lauper, and brilliantly performed by Shaw as if it had been written just for her. "French Jig," which is not a jig, is a spare and dry Cajun instrumental with a hint of ska thrown in for extra spice. The album's highlight, though, is a slow-burning song of longing titled "Wishing Me Away"; her double-tracked fiddle solo halfway through is a gem of restrained emotion, and her close-miked vocals are a perfect balance of intimacy and power. Then the album closes with a brilliant Cajun reel set and "Easy on Your Way Out," which sounds for all the world like a parody of pompous 1970s white funk-rock. Not bad for a kid who was born in the early '90s. Highly recommended.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/08/2008
Label:
Rounder / Umgd
UPC:
0011661325722
catalogNumber:
613257

Related Subjects

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Amanda Shaw   Primary Artist,Fiddle,Vocals
David Torkanowsky   Hammond Organ,Electric Piano
Cranston Clements   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Dirk Powell   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Fretless Banjo
James Martin   Tenor Saxophone
Sarah Borges   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Mike Barras   Percussion,Drums,Triangle
Annie Clements   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Danny Wilde   Composer
Scott Billington   Composer,Producer
Cranston Clements   Composer
Nick Trevisick   Composer
Diane Warren   Composer
Adam Taylor   Engineer
Anders Osborne   Composer
Eleni Mandell   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Shannon McNally   Composer
Mike Barras   Composer
Amanda Shaw   Composer
Melissa Mathes   Composer
Jim McCormick   Composer

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Pretty Runs Out 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jerry Wexler of Atlantic Records fame once said that Louis Armstrong was the greatest mind of the 20th century. Indeed he had top ten hits in six decades and brought a whole new level of musical awareness to America and the world, revolutionizing what we considered music to be and how we listened to it. Amanda Shaw, another Louisiana native and musical genius, wreaks similar havoc with our thoughts of what to expect when we listen to music. Her first Album, "I'm Not a Bubblegum Pop Princess" was pretty amazing stuff in its own right for a thirteen year old. The title song reveals a profound level of self-awareness for a person of any age and in a whimsical way demands that the listener focus on what is truly important in life. Then her violin solo on "Lover's Waltz" is beyond enchanting. It displays a tenderness, vulnerability, poignancy, openness, and ultimately a trust in love that borders on the reverential. It reminded me of a walk I once took through the cathedral of Chartres on one Good Friday afternoon, with heavenly multi-colored light streaming in through the stained glass windows upon us, the unwashed masses below. Amanda Shaw's music is similar in that it diffracts sound into its most beautiful elements while mixing the purity of the divine with the raw grittiness and sensuality of the bayou. Really! Her next album moves the listener to an even higher level of consciousness and musical joy. With the first song, "Pretty Runs Out," it's as if she were channeling Eckhart Tolle's message about the nature and limitations of the ego through her lyrics and violin directly into the hearts of America's country music fans - and to wider audiences beyond. Then she has the audacity not just to make cajun music available to pop music fans but to compel her listeners to embrace and savor it like the New Orleans recipes she describes in "Charmolito." She's a master chef sure to delight anyone's musical palate. My favorite, a song to which I can't stop listening,is "And I Don't Want To Be Your Friend." What a voice, what a sense of rhythm, what a violin. What a pleasure.