Virginia Creeper

( 3 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
Grant Lee Phillips has scaled back the arrangements of his songs a great deal on Virginia Creeper, his third solo outing, and the starkness helps spotlight his remarkable singing voice, which sounds at times like John Lennon, sometimes like Michael Stipe, and increasingly a little like Nebraska-era Bruce Springsteen. Like Springsteen, Phillips centers his songwriting in a kind of mythic America, an approach he used as well in his former band, Grant Lee Buffalo. But it is an approach that works only if the songs and the characters in them are believable, and Phillips' carefully considered, ornate lyrics often work against that believability. It's an old artistic dilemma --...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
Grant Lee Phillips has scaled back the arrangements of his songs a great deal on Virginia Creeper, his third solo outing, and the starkness helps spotlight his remarkable singing voice, which sounds at times like John Lennon, sometimes like Michael Stipe, and increasingly a little like Nebraska-era Bruce Springsteen. Like Springsteen, Phillips centers his songwriting in a kind of mythic America, an approach he used as well in his former band, Grant Lee Buffalo. But it is an approach that works only if the songs and the characters in them are believable, and Phillips' carefully considered, ornate lyrics often work against that believability. It's an old artistic dilemma -- finding a way to combine complexity and simplicity in a single stroke, and it took Springsteen a while to find that balance, too. The starkness of the sound on Virginia Creeper definitely moves Phillips closer to that aim, and there are some striking songs here that have a lean, powerful ambiance, most notably "Calamity Jane," which appears to be a song about Jane Fonda, and the epic "Josephine of the Swamps," a tune with overreaching lyrics that is just so damn good, it pulls you in anyway. Songs like these are the reason Phillips' fans are going to love this album. The poet Robinson Jeffers once said it was hard to set fire to too much thought. We wouldn't want Grant Lee Phillips to think less, but sometimes its best to not show it, to strip back some of the artifice and let the listener do the work. It's a balancing act that is within Phillips' grasp, and Virginia Creeper moves him closer.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/24/2004
  • Label: Zoe Records
  • UPC: 601143104329
  • Catalog Number: 431043
  • Sales rank: 270,623

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Mona Lisa (4:11)
  2. 2 Walking Memory (4:07)
  3. 3 Lily-A-Passion (4:30)
  4. 4 Dirty Secret (3:37)
  5. 5 Always Friends (3:33)
  6. 6 Calamity Lane (3:44)
  7. 7 Josephine of the Swamps (5:22)
  8. 8 Far End of the Night (4:46)
  9. 9 Susanna Little (6:08)
  10. 10 Wish I Knew (3:58)
  11. 11 Hickory Wind (4:08)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Grant Lee Phillips Primary Artist, Banjo, Guitar, Piano, Vocals, Group Member
Jon Brion Ukulele, Group Member
Richard Dodd Cello, Group Member
Danny Frankel Percussion, Group Member
Greg Leisz Dobro, Mandolin, Pedal Steel Guitar, Group Member
Sebastian Steinberg Upright Bass, Group Member
Bill "Luigi" Bonk Accordion, Group Member
Eric Gorfain Violin, Group Member
Sheldon Gomberg Upright Bass, Group Member
Zac Rae Keyboards, Vibes, Group Member
Leah Katz Viola, Group Member
Cindy Wasserman Vocals, Group Member
Technical Credits
Gram Parsons Composer
Grant Lee Phillips Composer, Producer, Prints
Gavin Lurssen Mastering
S. "Husky" Hoskulds Engineer
Bob Buchanon Composer
Eric Gorfain String Arrangements
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

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1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Wanted to Love It

    I heard "Mona Lisa" on a sampler CD and liked it very much. I liked it so much that I decided to buy Grant-Lee Phillips' entire album featuring this song. Much to my dismay, though, many of the songs on the CD were boring in a musical sense, and the interesting ones, the ones that truly showcased Phillips' voice, in my opinion, were depressing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Top Shelf Release

    "Virginia Creeper" is a beautiful body of work from beginning to end, characterized by the artist's vocal and stylistic talents. Grant-Lee Philips succeeds in refinement of technique and a smooth delivery of composition. He will definitely take a place on the top shelf of your music collection, and stand the test of time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews