The Gutter and the Garden

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Christopher Monger
It seems unfair to bring up R.E.M. every time a band hails from Athens, GA, but there really must be something in the water. "Seven Years," the beautiful opener on the Lovers' sophomore release, The Gutter and the Garden, may sound like a lost track from the Automatic for the People sessions, but the unique voice behind it owes more to Chrissie Hynde than Michael Stipe. Bandleader and wordsmith Carolyn Hart Berk -- a Boston and Athens native -- writes lonely tales of heartbreak, lost opportunity, and homespun despair that carry the softest glimmer of hope. Her slightly off-key timbre and breathy, sometimes volatile delivery add an emotional depth to ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Christopher Monger
It seems unfair to bring up R.E.M. every time a band hails from Athens, GA, but there really must be something in the water. "Seven Years," the beautiful opener on the Lovers' sophomore release, The Gutter and the Garden, may sound like a lost track from the Automatic for the People sessions, but the unique voice behind it owes more to Chrissie Hynde than Michael Stipe. Bandleader and wordsmith Carolyn Hart Berk -- a Boston and Athens native -- writes lonely tales of heartbreak, lost opportunity, and homespun despair that carry the softest glimmer of hope. Her slightly off-key timbre and breathy, sometimes volatile delivery add an emotional depth to arrangements that are already immersed in a sea of pastoral gloom. Her gift for imagery is striking, allowing lyrics that would otherwise come off as pompous -- "My darling your gums are soft as rhododendron buds" -- seem innocent and wistful, as if the narrator were merely thinking aloud. There is a sameness to the record that renders portions forgettable; the reverb-drenched production works for a while, but tunes begin to drift into Mazzy Star land, especially on "Kid Quiet" and "Your Handwriting." These are minor gripes though, as the Lovers are miles better than many of their contemporaries. In the end, The Gutter and the Garden celebrates the simple act of mourning with a heady balance of grace and fury, resulting in a quietly powerful collection of songs that evoke both northern pines and Spanish moss.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/4/2004
  • Label: Orange Twin
  • UPC: 656605601922
  • Catalog Number: 19

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Lovers Primary Artist
Andy LeMaster Organ, Vocals, E-bow
Brent Jones Percussion, Piano
Heather Macintosh Cello
Heather McIntosh Cello
Jesse Flavin Guitar, Piano, Bass Guitar
Carolyn Berk Guitar, Vocals
Daniel Rickard Banjo, Guitar, Piano, Bass Guitar, Vocals, Slide Guitar
Jesse Dylan Flavin Bass, Guitar, Piano
Daniel Coker Rickard Banjo, Bass, Guitar, Piano, Vocals, Slide Guitar
Andrej Kurti Violin
Technical Credits
Lovers Producer, Audio Production
Andy LeMaster Producer, Audio Production
Brent Jones Sound Effects
Glenn Schick Mastering
Carolyn Berk Composer, Sound Effects
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