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Living With Ghosts
     

Living With Ghosts

4.7 10
by Patty Griffin
 
Patty Griffin's major-label debut was actually recorded as a demo cassette. A&M executives were so impressed with this raw display of talent that they snatched up the tape and threw it, unaltered, into the marketplace. Griffin recorded her songs exactly as she performed them live, armed with only her acoustic guitar and a voice that can rattle fences. While dozens of

Overview

Patty Griffin's major-label debut was actually recorded as a demo cassette. A&M executives were so impressed with this raw display of talent that they snatched up the tape and threw it, unaltered, into the marketplace. Griffin recorded her songs exactly as she performed them live, armed with only her acoustic guitar and a voice that can rattle fences. While dozens of folk artists have attempted to bend the ear of the major labels by coating their acoustics with radio-friendly keyboards and drums, Griffin took the gutsy "band? I don't need no stinking band" approach. It's primarily a testament to her voice that A&M was so taken with her minimalism; as a guitarist, Griffin isn't much more than an energetic strummer. Her songwriting is only occasionally exceptional -- her word choices are as minimal as her arrangements, and her melodies are engaging but conventional. But she is nonetheless a striking and intriguing storyteller, because her tales of chronically lonely people are told with such passion. Griffin's Nashville-tinged warble has tremendous emotional range, one minute cracking with brittle vulnerability, the next minute blasting with passionate intensity. Occasionally it seems Griffin's demo engineers were unequipped to handle her vibrant transitions, setting the microphone level for a whisper then cringing as the speakers bristle and the needles slam into the red. But this subtle idiosyncrasy only adds to the charm of the album, lending to the impression that no stereo is big enough to contain this voice.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/21/1996
Label:
Fontana A&M
UPC:
0731454049023
catalogNumber:
540490
Rank:
12202

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Living With Ghosts 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is a great album! every single album of hers is outstanding-each one is different..i like living with ghosts because it is raw and does not have a lot of studio influenced sounds ever since then patty has gotten more and more studio influenced sounds in her albums but still this is great and i dont know which is better this or flaming red -- 1000 kisses is good but very sappy but still incredible--OH YEAH! SHE IS NOT COUNTRY OR FOLK SHE IS A ROCKER THAT HAS INCREDIBLE SONGWRITING TALENT AND HAS THE BALLS TO SAY WHAT SHE FEELS
Anjoel22 More than 1 year ago
One of the best albums of all time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Let me start by correcting a couple of popular misconceptions. First, Patty Griffin is not a folk artist. She's a rocker but this album happens to be just her and her acoustic guitar (mostly). Second, this isn't a 'minimalist' studio recording. This is a bunch of demo tapes that Patty recorded in her apartment. (If you listen very carefully to ''Let Him Fly'' you can hear sirens in the background. Her apartment was across the street from a hospital.) Fortunately, somebody at A&M had the good sense to say ''These sound good to me! Let's just go with this!'' (I'm not a music industry insider, I just happened to have heard her interviewed on ''The World Cafe'' and NPR's ''Weekend All Things Considered''.) Now that that's out of the way... I bought this CD when it first came out, in '96, and it's still my favorite (and I've got hundreds of CD's). Her second album ''Flaming Red'' is a close second. Everything about this recording is extraordinary. The songs, her voice, her performance, are all wonderful. The only reason I'm here is that I have to check occasionally to see if she's got another album yet.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Patty Griffin has one of the most powerful and memorable voices I have ever heard. This CD has minimal clutter from the ''Nashville'' sound. The lyrics are soulful and direct. It's great travel music or just sitting back having beer or glass of wine. If you like Shawn Colvin, Nancy Griffith, or even Sheryl Crow you will be quite pleased with Patty Griffin. You will be blown away!
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the very best albums of the 1990's. The songs here are stronger than the ones on her followup, Flaming Red. Emotional music, that is a great combination of topical and personal. I can't get the love song, Mad Mission, out of my head. Poor Man's House is very empathetic.
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