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I only bought this cd because it was cheap and didn't really think much of the sample tracks I'd played, but, being a long time fan of MN, I decided to take a punt and bought it... After receiving it very promptly, I was very surprised and delighted at the all round quality of the two cds and the amazing history of the poems in the beautifully produced booklet they came in. The booklet itself must have cost a fortune to produce and is a credit to the guy(s) who produced it. There are twenty tracks to listen to and I feel that if a person only enjoys a quarter of them, it will be well worth the price paid for the double album. Greetings to all other MN fans around the world. Ron Carroll, Auckland, New Zealand
Years in the making, this epic double album finds Natalie Merchant at the very top of game. The premise of nursery rhymes and poems set to music at first seems a little underwhelming, but her music and voice bring these simple tales to life in a way that is utterly captivating. It is easily one the most impressive works by any artist in recent years.
The supporting booklet is also beautifully produced. Even though this package might seem "expensive" compared to a typical CD, I highly recommend the full length edition. It's actually something of a bargain.
Having read the reviews for this album I am amazed some say this is not a good album for children??! I can only presume these reviews were written by the childless or by those suffering with 'grownupishness'? If you are considering this cd for a child, do not be put off, read on, then buy the cd for the child you had in mind!
I have a 5 year old daughter, who not only loves this album, but sings along to the songs, and sings the songs herself whilst playing in the garden. Her favorites are The Dancing Bear, Bleezers Ice Cream, Equestrienne, maggie and milly and molly and may, and The sleepy Giant, although she likes the whole album. When the cd arrived, I explained the songs were poems, and showed her the book. She likes the different styles of music and the idea that some of the songs are very very old and that her Great Great Great Great Great Great Grandma and Grandad probably knew some of the rhymes as well. Whenever she asks about a song, I tell her a little about it, who wrote it, or how long ago and what games children played at that time or what they wore, and sometimes why a poem was written, or a little story of the writers life. Nothing heavy, little snippets, and silly bits that children like. She likes the fact that some of the grown up writers were quite naughty. She was inspired by the fact one of the songs was written by a young girl. Since discovering The Sleepy Giant was written by a father for his son, she has been dropping me hints to do the same! To her the idea that the album came abouts because another mummy wanted to share these poems with her daughter is one of the lovliest things. In short she is captivated by every aspect of this album. This cd should feature on the national curriculum, it helps with reading, vocabulary, rhyming schemes, story telling, memory, recital, it gives a hint of times gone by and social history, it shows diferent musical styles and instruments, some in a geographical sense, it expands the imagination and make the child ask questions. It has silly songs, happy songs, sad songs and whimsies, it is full of the magic and enchantment of children and childhood. I wish more musicians would create music for children like this. I feel I should add that 100% of children that have heard this album via my daughter have been captivated (age range 3-15). Some of these children(to their credit) have used pester power or pocket money to secure their own copies.
... collection of songs that I have heard in a long, long time. A simple but strong idea, immaculately translated into music of depth, subtlety and emotional power. The wistful melancholy of so many "children's" poems is rendered so well that some of the songs brought me to tears, whilst a couple of the songs are merely deliriously joyful. The best? "Nursery Rhyme of innocence and Experience", "The Dancing Bear", "maggie and milly and molly and may", "Adventures of Isabel", "Spring and Fall: to a young child" and "Indian Names".
Every now and then we humans make a personal discovery. Its that moment when time stands still and you own yourself and for that moment you are lord of everything ..and nothing . Whatever it is we find does not matter.. the one thing that is certain is that it .. whatever It is... has little or no intrinsic value and is probably an intangible.. it may be an idea or a sight or, as in the case of this CD ; a sound.
Its serenely peaceful it removes bleamishes from life, clears the mind and stretches the moment to an eternity. C Don Frampton
I don't normally do reviews but I am so happy with Natlie's new album I just had to add to the other positive comments. After the rather depressing House Carpenters Daughter this is like a breath of fresh air. Natalie is obviously enjoying herself and the album is very up beat. Her voice sounds great, not quite as deep and serious as it did on the previous album. If you want up lifting I recomend this album. Anyway anything that includes the words of Edward Lear has to be good.
Following the anniversary of Charles Causley's death (or was it birth?) the BBC played one of the tracks from this album, which was one of his poems set to music and sung by Natalie Merchant. As a poet I was enthralled by her interpretation. All the tracks are beautiful and Merchant's interpretations and arrangements are so musically accomplished and true to the spirit of each poem that this should become a classic. I hope Santa will bring me another album by her - she's so good!