The Beauty of the Rain

( 12 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - William Pearl
Reflecting on this album, singer-songwriter Dar Williams has said, "The Beauty of the Rain is more tied to an urban landscape. It takes on smaller conversations." If her lyrical scope may be more confined, while no less incisive, William’s musical vision has nonetheless expanded. Here, the acclaimed performer is joined by a host of A-list guests including Alison Krauss, banjo player Bela Fleck, Blues Traveler’s John Popper, keyboardist John Medeski, and trumpeter Chris Botti. Their input brilliantly expands the tonal colors of Williams’s finely wrought songs. As Williams put it, "It can be a little lonely sometimes being a girl with a guitar. I wanted to reach out into...
See more details below
CD
$11.39
BN.com price
(Save 5%)$11.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (CD)
  • All (23) from $1.99   
  • New (4) from $11.70   
  • Used (19) from $1.99   

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - William Pearl
Reflecting on this album, singer-songwriter Dar Williams has said, "The Beauty of the Rain is more tied to an urban landscape. It takes on smaller conversations." If her lyrical scope may be more confined, while no less incisive, William’s musical vision has nonetheless expanded. Here, the acclaimed performer is joined by a host of A-list guests including Alison Krauss, banjo player Bela Fleck, Blues Traveler’s John Popper, keyboardist John Medeski, and trumpeter Chris Botti. Their input brilliantly expands the tonal colors of Williams’s finely wrought songs. As Williams put it, "It can be a little lonely sometimes being a girl with a guitar. I wanted to reach out into the world and see what else was going on." Chronicling her move from Massachusetts to New York, The Beauty of the Rain displays the pinpoint perceptions and intimate reflections that have come to characterize Williams’s writing at its best. And while her vocal beauty is by now a given, the personal nature of these songs brings an even greater depth to her singing. (Equally affecting is Williams’s rendition of the Band’s “Whispering Pines.”) Now a decade into her recording career, Williams keeps reaching new peaks.
All Music Guide - Gregory McIntosh
Where Mortal City was a consciously reformatted Honesty Room, End of the Summer was an over-the-top break away from Mortal City, and The Green World was an admission that End of the Summer was a forced endeavor, The Beauty of the Rain is Dar Williams' first recording that truly expands upon the sound of the album before it. For the first time in her career, Williams no longer pushed too hard to readjust her sound, but instead embraced and built upon it. The result is her most comfortable and confident recording to date and the first time Williams did not appear to be ashamed of her previous work. Complete with a heavy roster including John Medeski, Alison Krauss, Béla Fleck, and John Popper, The Beauty of the Rain is a polished and spacious-sounding recording where virtually every track is an easy parade through flourishing arrangements and accessibility. The only song to stand out as a bit off the mark is the initially stunning "Whispering Pines," which shifts from a lovely, lush backing vocal and keyboard opening to a new age-tinted piano ballad, but when the third verse sets in, guest Cliff Eberhardt's soulless and strained singing turns it into a poor Disney-style "end-of-picture" duet and the whole song crashes down in a train wreck of poor judgment. Album-opener and extraordinary single "Mercy of the Fallen," the staccato intricacies of "Closer to Me," and the understated title track more than make up for this blunder and will certainly please passionate fans as well as increase Dar Williams' fan base considerably.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/18/2003
  • Label: Razor & Tie
  • UPC: 793018288620
  • Catalog Number: 82886
  • Sales rank: 162,006

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Mercy of the Fallen (4:11)
  2. 2 Farewell to the Old Me - Stefan Lessard (2:45)
  3. 3 I Saw a Bird Fly Away - John Popper (2:51)
  4. 4 The Beauty of the Rain - Chris Botti (3:00)
  5. 5 The World's Not Falling Apart - Michael Kang (4:24)
  6. 6 The One Who Knows (3:47)
  7. 7 Closer to Me - Béla Fleck (3:42)
  8. 8 Fishing in the Morning - Michael Kang (2:38)
  9. 9 Whispering Pines - Stefan Lessard (4:00)
  10. 10 Your Fire Your Soul - John Medeski (3:04)
  11. 11 I Have Lost My Dreams (3:05)
Read More Show Less

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Dar Williams Primary Artist, Guitar, Vocals
Alison Krauss Vocals
Cliff Eberhardt Vocals
Eric Bazilian Guitar, Mandolin
Chris Botti Trumpet
Béla Fleck Banjo
Steve Holley Drums
Rob Hyman Piano, Keyboards, Hammond Organ, Melodica, Wurlitzer, Reed Organ
Stewart Lerman Bass, Guitar, Keyboards
David Mansfield Violin
John Medeski Piano, Hammond Organ, Clavinet
Sammy Merendino Drums
John Popper Harmonica, Vocals
Steuart Smith Guitar, Harmonica, Piano, Hammond Organ, 12-string Guitar, E-bow
William Wittman Bass
Carol Steele Percussion
Stefan Lessard Bass
Paul Sokolow Bass
Michael Kang Violin
Technical Credits
Steve Addabbo Engineer
Ronald K. Fierstein Executive Producer
Rob Hyman Producer
Stewart Lerman Producer, Engineer
George Marino Mastering
Will Schillinger Engineer
William Wittman Engineer
Chris Kress Engineer
Richard Battaglia Engineer
Robert Battaglia Engineer
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Sweet, Sad, Beautiful

    A comeback from the lovely but not exactly coherent "Green World," which is referred to around my house as Dar's drug album, Rain is a return to normalcy with the kind of growth I expect from such a gifted songwriter. Although it does seem like all my favorite lesbian singer-songwriters are getting married, it seems only to have helped Dar - the music is more polished than End of the Summer, and the lyrics are just as moving. In particular the stellar "Mercy of the Fallen" draws one in as soon as the CD starts playing. Normally any new album takes a few run-throughs to start to grow on you, but this track is too gorgeous and emotional to possibly sound mediocre on first hearing. The whole album has really hit the right balance between the "what the heck is she talking about?" quality of Green World and the near-prose, no-analogy setup of Honesty Room; this is poetry, set to some of the most beautiful melodies I've heard in years. Instantly addictive.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A new fan

    I can't belive how good this cd is. I just can't. I had never heard of this singer but when i was at Barnes & Noble I heard them play this song as In-Store play and that was it, I had to go buy this cd. I REALLY think that this is one of the best CDs in a real long time. Thanks Dar for a great CD and thanks Barnes & Noble for intrducing it to me!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    "Beauty of the Rain" and its bland lyrics!

    I have been a Dar Williams fan for more than 10 years and have seen Ms. Williams in concert 9-10 times.My review of this album is not very good, the only stand out song on this cd is "The Mercy of the Fallen" other than that the lyrics on most of these songs are in my view very poor.In 8 of the 11 songs on this cd the lyrics are not deep,funny,interesting.Also, this album is more pop flavored then a folk album which is very sad.After reading the lyrics in the liner notes section, I found printed song lyric mistakes in almost every song on this cd. I find it very sad when a singer/songwriter does'nt even review the song lyrics printed in a cd before it is released.If you want to listen to a great cd try Amy Grants cd "Behind the Eyes" this cd has some great songs,lyrics ect.I'm surprised that Ms.Williams is pushing herself into the pop world, and that even Amy Grant can write more insightful lyrics. I hope Dar Williams returns to the folk world where she belongs!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Beautiful!

    Definitely worth purchasing! It's been in the car CD player non-stop since I saw her in-store performance last weekend in Rosemont, PA. Dar has A-list collaborators on this new CD which add to the beauty! Once again Dar's lyrics steal the show as she weaves a tail with words and notes that transport you to her world. As a singer/song writer I think of Joan Baez or Carly Simon. You can tell that Dar just loves to sing!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Dar Strikes Gold With Rain

    In the past, Dar has been a favorite of College/Indie radio listeners. With Beauty of the Rain, she has finally found a more mainstream sound, featuring cameos by John Popper and Bela Fleck, among others. While her fans of old may prefer her less mainstream work, like my personal favorite "Mortal City," there is no denying she has created a record which has the capacity to reach a greater audience through redio play. "I Saw a Bird Fly," which features Popper's soaring harmonica, is a memorable, catchy tune rife with Dar's gently evocative imagery and a vaguely wistful message. The title track, based on overheard conversation in NYC one rainy day, is mournful yet optimistic, like so much of her music, and speaks yearningly to something common in the human experience, but impossible for so many of us to name. Dar's gentle, smoky voice gives words to what so many people experience, and given enough radio attention, this album may be the trigger to gain this talented songwriter the exposure she deserves.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Beauty of the Rain

    Dar is in love and happy, so I was expecting an ewey gooey fresh and fruity new album. After viewing the track list ¿ ¿Farewell To The Old Me¿ ¿ I found myself fearful. Fearful we would find an album dedicated to an explanation of Dar¿s seemingly meaningless journey through life until¿love. I was bracing myself for the worst ¿ was our Flinty Kind Of Woman gone? Would Dar now be more prone to be afraid of women? Would our superhero move to Connecticut, buy a Volvo, and forget all about the hills of Iowa? My anxiety boiled down to one very simple, yet most important question¿how was Dar¿s marriage going to impact us ¿ the fans. Hold onto to your birks all ye apprehensive Ani fans - Dar William¿s The Beauty of the Rain is a delight. Dar¿s latest release is another glimpse into this brilliant songwriter¿s imagination. Though her profoundly personal reflections permeate The Beauty of the Rain, Dar¿s beloved wit (The World¿s Not Falling Apart) and whimsical musings (Fishing in the Morning) are ever-present. A well-rounded, thoughtful, enchanting effort from one of our most skillful songwriters.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Her Fire and Her Soul are with us again

    An exceptional collection of fresh songs with a fresh feel. The music continues to be both warm and provocative with stories and ideas that touch you deep inside. The all star cast of musicians collaborate with Dar and her production team to produce an excellent performance and recording. I only wish there was more.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Beauty of the Rain

    Dar is in love and happy, so I was expecting an ewey gooey fresh and fruity new album. After viewing the track list - "Farewell To The Old Me" - I found myself fearful. Fearful we would find an album dedicated to an explanation of Dar's seemingly meaningless journey through life until¿love. I was bracing myself for the worst - was our Flinty Kind Of Woman gone? Would Dar now be more prone to be afraid of women? Would our superhero move to Connecticut, buy a Volvo, and forget all about the hills of Iowa? My anxiety boiled down to one very simple, yet most important question¿how was Dar's marriage going to impact us - the fans. Hold onto to your birks all ye apprehensive Ani fans - Dar William's The Beauty of the Rain is a delight. Dar's latest release is another glimpse into this brilliant songwriter's imagination. Though her profoundly personal reflections permeate The Beauty of the Rain, Dar's beloved wit (The World's Not Falling Apart) and whimsical musings (Fishing in the Morning) are ever-present. A well-rounded, thoughtful, enchanting effort from one of our most skillful songwriters.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Fantastic as always

    I've listened to Dar for quite some time now, and I always find her music enlightening and endearing. While I typically am a bigger fan of just her and her guitar, the musicians she chose to collaborate with on this album are all amazing, and they compliment Dar's lovely voice and fantastic guitar playing nicely. I would highly recommend this album along with any other Dar Williams.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Beautiful

    Another beautiful offering from Dar Williams. The songs that are my favorites, that make me lift my head up and smile no matter where I am, are "The Mercy of the Fallen" and "I Saw a Bird Fly Away". The one that brings tears to my eyes is "The One Who Knows". The CD is so good, I wish it were longer.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Lucky Chance

    I was shopping in a music store and they were playing this CD. The few songs I heard I really liked, so I threw it in the basket, too. I had never heard of Dar, but I was intrigued when I listened to her music. I am probably a bit more mainstream than most of her fans, but I am going to venture out and get another of her CDs. I like the grooviness of these songs. I especially like her "Fire, Soul" song. Kinda spunky. I think I could pop Dar into the CD player, push "repeat," and just chill out for hours on end, without getting sick of her. I'm glad I risked the $16.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews