The Civil Wars - Barton Hollow (Deluxe Edition)

Published Saturday 4th January 2014
The Civil Wars - Barton Hollow (Deluxe Edition)
The Civil Wars - Barton Hollow (Deluxe Edition)

STYLE: Country
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 146389-21259
LABEL: Sensibility Music

Reviewed by Oscar Hyde

By now, the story's pretty famous: Dove Award darling Joy Williams teams up with friend and fellow composer John Paul White, the two record an album that goes Gold in the US, and the Civil Wars (as they've named themselves) are all of a sudden double Grammy winners. Not without good cause, as it turns out. The album overflows with achingly lovely folk songs, usually on the subject of love that's lost, or forbidden, or otherwise unattainable. "20 Years" expresses the associated emotions as drawn-out longing, "I've Got This Friend" as restless fidgeting, "C'est la Mort" as slowly circling the plughole. Williams and White's harmonies match so perfectly, it's practically unfair to compare them to any other duo out there. It's almost a relief when the Grammy-winning title track rolls around, letting loose in bluesy anger all the passion pent up inside, so much so that "The Violet Hour", coming right on its heels, has no words left, just a gorgeous lamenting instrumental. But, for me, it all comes back to "Poison & Wine" and its unforgettably strained-and-restrained "I don't love you, and I always will". It simmers, simmers, simmers, almost to the point of boil, but there's no catharsis. And sometimes love's like that, and sometimes life's like that; as they let on in "C'est la Mort", c'est la vie. Just in case you didn't know, European fans of their megahit have been treated to a deluxe edition of the album which contains the 12 tracks of the original release, the two bonus tracks from the electronic version, plus four additional tracks. But in truth it's best heard in its original form.

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Sample Track Listing:
1. 20 Years [Listen]
2. I've Got This Friend [Listen]
3. C'est La Mort [Listen]
4. To Whom It May Concern [Listen]
5. Poison & Wine [Listen]
6. My Father's Father [Listen]
7. Barton Hollow [Listen]
8. The Violet Hour [Listen]
9. Girl With The Red Balloon [Listen]
10. Falling [Listen]
11. Forget Me Not [Listen]
12. Birds Of A Feather [Listen]
13. Billie Jean (Bonus Track Live) [Listen]
14. I Want You Back (Bonus Track) [Listen]
15. Dance Me To The End Of Love (Bonus Track) [Listen]
16. You Are My Sunshine [Listen]
17. Goodbye Girl (Acoustic) [Listen]
18. Marionette (Demo) [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version.

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