What I Mean to Say Is Goodbye

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stewart Mason
Back in the late '60s and early '70s, "singer/songwriter" meant something very specific: an artist, either male or female, who had initially been involved in the '60s collegiate folk scene but had been inspired by Bob Dylan and his peers into moving into a more personal and pop-oriented sound. Their early albums had minimal backing musicians behind the main performer's voice and instrument usually an acoustic guitar, occasionally a piano, the album covers had gauzy soft-focus close-up photos, and the artists invariably lived in Laurel Canyon. It's unclear what part of Los Angeles Tom Brosseau calls home, but anyone with a sense of pop music history who was exposed to What...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stewart Mason
Back in the late '60s and early '70s, "singer/songwriter" meant something very specific: an artist, either male or female, who had initially been involved in the '60s collegiate folk scene but had been inspired by Bob Dylan and his peers into moving into a more personal and pop-oriented sound. Their early albums had minimal backing musicians behind the main performer's voice and instrument usually an acoustic guitar, occasionally a piano, the album covers had gauzy soft-focus close-up photos, and the artists invariably lived in Laurel Canyon. It's unclear what part of Los Angeles Tom Brosseau calls home, but anyone with a sense of pop music history who was exposed to What I Mean to Say Is Goodbye without prior knowledge would immediately think it was an obscurity that came out on Reprise or Elektra sometime around 1971. Although Brosseau has an impressively all-star set of guests -- Benmont Tench Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers on keyboards, Pete Thomas Elvis Costello & the Attractions on drums, Sara Watkins Nickel Creek on fiddle, and Jon Brion producer of half the artists in L.A. on second guitar -- the 12 songs all keep his voice and guitar at the forefront. Songs like "West of Town," an elegy about the 1997 flood that destroyed much of his North Dakota hometown, and the even more personal "Tonight I Am Careful With You" sound so intimate and plain that even covers of Hank Williams' "That's When Your Heartache Begins" and the traditional "In My Time of Dyin'" with haunting guest vocals from Angela Correa are of a piece with Brosseau's sparse originals. Though it may sound at times like a retro simulation of a time and place long past, What I Meant to Say Is Goodbye is musically and emotionally richer than mere mimicry.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/7/2005
  • Label: LOVELESS RECORDS
  • UPC: 688610002128
  • Catalog Number: 21

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Tom Brosseau Primary Artist, Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
Benmont Tench Harmonica, Piano, Harmonium
Jon Brion Guitar
Ian Walker Double Bass, Upright Bass
Gabe Witcher Violin
Daphne Chen Violin
Sara Watkins Violin
Angela Correa Vocals
Technical Credits
Billy Hill Composer
Sam Jones Audio Production
Ron McMaster Mastering
Fred Fisher Composer
Traditional Composer
William Raskin Composer
Tom Brosseau Composer, Artwork
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    What I Mean to Say Is Goodbye

    Great album, well done! Produced by Sam Jones, pictures by Sam Jones. I loved " I am trying to break your heart ". I can see Sam carries himself well producing music too. The best songs? well from start to finish. I wanted to hear more. I heard " west of town and then decided to buy the rest of the record. I recommed this album. I have been telling everyone it's the best record I have heard this year.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    What I Mean to Say Is Goodbye

    I heard this music on the radio out in Boston, WERS. They played a track entitled " too much wear and tear to care ". I instantly fell in love with this man, Tom. I bought the album and have been listening to it ever since- I have told all my friends. My boyfriend is jealous, but that's ok. I don't want to marry Tom Brosseau- don't even know him, but I love his music. Some of my other favs on the album are: St. Joe St., quiet drink, tonight I am careful with you, jane and lou. Also, this album comes with a short story. It made me cry.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    toam brosseau's what I mean to say is goodbye

    great album! I reccomend this title to anyone who has a heart, or anyone who has had theirs broken. Great songs, my favorites: west of town, unfamiliar places, tonight I am careful with you. Super line-up, including members of Nickel Creek, Tom Petty, Elvis Costello. Really, from start to finish- it's a gem. I haven't heard too many albums where every song is good. 5 stars!

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