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Reviews: Jennifer Warnes: The Well

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Reviews: 3

Review by Croc January 1, 2004 (2 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
very very good disc.

i like the music.

sound quality is a first rate.

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Review by Dan Popp January 3, 2005 (2 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Jennifer Warnes has created a truly great album. The bad news is that it isn’t this one. This disc, “The Well,” falls somewhere between the now-classic “Famous Blue Raincoat” and the forgettable “The Hunter,” with characteristics of both.

“Raincoat” set the bar for what Jennifer could do with great songs and great sonics. With all-Leonard Cohen material and an aural aesthetic that some engineers use as a reference, JW made us feel and live each song.

Her interpretive skill and intellectual depth aren't lost in “The Well.” But they are “dampened” at times by inferior material and a few truly bad engineering/mixing decisions. There is a peculiar sibilance to the vocals, and on occasion the tell-tale “shrinking” artifact of over-compression. Worst of all is the presence, on track 2 in particular, of some very annoying clipping distortion. Why? What a shame.

As for the songs themselves, I love a ballad as much as the next guy – or more. And Jenny shines on simple, pretty songs that she can turn into profound gems. But with nothing on the entire disc faster than the medium-gentle opening track... sorry, Jen: it’s boring.

There are some beautiful moments here. Billy Joel’s, “And So It Goes” stands out. “Prairie Melancholy” and “Too Late Love Comes” are Warnes at her near-best, handicapped only by some rambling lyrics and a morbid pace. In contrast to another reviewer, I would rate “Invitation to the Blues” as one of the least successful songs on the album. Doesn’t The Blues require a beat?

The instruments are recorded well; and the space, depth and “smoothness” of the SACD layer are very satisfying. The CD layer, in contrast, sounds “veiled” and 2-dimensional. But you may be tempted to go to the redbook program to escape the sibilance mentioned earlier.

A good “rainy day” album. It’s disappointing only because we know Warnes is capable of more.

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Review by Hejira11 February 9, 2009 (0 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This is one of my top 10 favorite albums. The sonics here are as clear and spacious as any I can recall. Simply beautiful, and beautifully recorded.

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