The Thornsby The Thorns
Like Crosby, Stills & Nash did a generation ago, Matthew Sweet, Shawn Mullins, and Pete Droge have come together from disparate parts of the musical spectrum to distill a pure pop nectar that's both bittersweet and beautiful. Despite the prickly name, the Thorns operate almost exclusively on the softer side of things, winding intricate harmonies around mellow, often acoustic arrangements. The songs deal quite a bit with lost love, most effectively on the wistful "I Can't Remember" and the dulcimer-tinged "No Blue Sky," which perfectly captures the heel-dragging melancholy of a guy one step away from blowing town for good. But The Thorns isn't uniformly forlorn: "Long, Sweet Summer Night" bobs along gently, evoking, well, pretty much exactly the mood set by the title, while "Runaway Feeling" opens the disc with a campfire tone set off by call-and-response vocals. Amidst an album of warmly rendered originals, the trio toss in a loving version of the Jayhawks' "Blue," a masterpiece of dejection that's leavened by the sheer prettiness of the soaring vocal harmonies. The Thorns make a good case for the simple things in life -- and music -- being the truly important ones.
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Performance CreditsThorns Primary Artist
Matthew Sweet Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Percussion,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,Vihuela,Marxophone,Baritone Ukulele,Group Member
Jim Keltner Drums
Pete Droge Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Ukulele,Vocals,Drums,Guitar (Baritone),Group Member
Roy Bittan Piano,Electric Piano
Paul Buckmaster Conductor
Ricky Keller Conductor
Greg Leisz Mandolin,Pedal Steel Guitar,Mandola,Lap Steel Guitar,Guitar (12 String Electric),Electric Dulcimer
Brendan O'Brien Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Percussion,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Hurdy-Gurdy,Marxophone,Bass Harmonica
Shawn Mullins Dulcimer,Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,Vihuela,Group Member
Technical CreditsPaul Buckmaster String Arrangements,String Conductor
Nick DiDia Engineer
Ricky Keller String Arrangements,String Conductor
Brendan O'Brien Producer
Alex Lowe Engineer
Billy Bowers Engineer
Dan Rudin Engineer
Josh Cheuse Art Direction
Gail Marowitz Art Direction
James L. Hunter Graphic Design
Karl Egsieker Engineer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I think this CD was awesome from start to finish. It was not at all what I expected, it was better, Way to go guys!!!!!!
I was a skeptic when I heard comparisons to CSN&Y, but the harmonies encompassed by many of the songs definately bring up visions of the great band. If you're a CSN fan or just like good, acoustic music with great singing, then you'll like this album.
There's a Special Edition of the Thorns CD featuring a bonus CD of acoustic versions of the entire album, called the "Sunset Session". I liked the original CD, but the bonus disc is truly a revelation. Believe it or not, it costs the same!
Ever since I lost my first true love, I've been a big fan of Matthew Sweet and his lyrics that so perfectly mirrored my emotions. When I heard this album playing on the overhead speakers at CD Warehouse, I asked the store manager if that was, indeed, the voice of Matthew Sweet. He showed me the new album and I purchased it immediately. Matthew Sweet has never let me down with his albums, regardless what the critics will say. As for Pete Droge, famous for "Spacey and Shakin'" in my book, I find his songs quirky and fun, if not a bit dark. To have those two together with Shawn Mullins, who has had such hits as "Everywhere I Go" and "Lullaby", its a dream group for me. The songs are alluring, they speak volumes on the human spirit towards love and loss. I highly recommend this album to everyone who has hurt at some time.