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MP3 Allison Crowe - This Little Bird

Soulful. Alive. Joyous. Grievous. Real, true, music.

12 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Acoustic, FOLK: like Joni

Advancing her quest to create music with the greatest integrity, Canada’s Allison Crowe releases her new album, “This Little Bird”.

"Soulful. Alive. Joyous. Grievous. Real, true, music is what I want to make," she says. Eschewing all of the tricks and gimmicks that are today’s standard, with this 12-song collection, recorded from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island, Crowe, again, succeeds. Testifying. Visceral.

Adding titles of engineer and producer to her vocal, piano and guitar credits, Crowe is joined on most of the album’s tracks by the rhythm section of Dave Baird (bass) and Laurent Boucher (percussion). Nine new originals map emotional and spiritual territory with fresh sounds, encompassing: the elegiac "Phoenix"; the ramble tamble “Alive and Breathing”; gorgeous songs of love and hope, "Effortless" and "There Is"; the jaunty dark humor of "Skeletons and Spirits"; the redemptive grace of “Now” and “Phoenix”; the raucous celebration of the title track; a joy of simplicity in "Circular Reasoning"; and “Silence”, a song that stirs with romance.

Acclaimed not only as an exciting songwriter and live performer, but, also, as a song interpreter, for freshly definitive takes on Leonard Cohen (Hallelujah), Joni Mitchell (River), Counting Crows (A Murder of One) and others, Allison Crowe delivers a trio of remarkable covers on “This Little Bird”. With this new album, the singer-songwriter from the islands gives her singular voice to "A Case of You" (Joni Mitchell’s knowing paen to heart and homeland), "Darling Be Home Soon" (John Sebastian’s lovely tune of longing) and "I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You" (Ronnie Shannon’s song best-known as Aretha Franklin’s break-out tune in 1967).

"Allison Crowe has a voice to fall in love with," says Record of the Day (the UK’s top music trade journal).

“This Little Bird” is reaffirmation.


Here''s what reviewers say about Allison Crowe''s "This Little Bird":

This Little Bird by Allison Crowe
December 7, 2006
Amy Lotsberg, Producer of Collected Sounds (USA)

Well, what can I say about the fabulous Allison Crowe that I haven''t already said? I''ve reviewed her records for years and each one is incredible.

This woman has a voice that will have you shaking your head in amazement. It seems to get better with each release as well.

Her songwriting is also very good. The songs are welcoming and emotional. They are catchy with out being pedestrian.

If you''re a fan of beautiful piano songs with strong (but not aggressive) female vocals this is the record for you.

While you''re at it, pick up her holiday record, Tidings. It''s probably my favorite holiday record of all time.


Luna Kafé record review (Sweden)

Canada - Full Moon 125 - 12/05/06
Allison Crowe
This Little Bird
Sambuca Music

Allison Crowe''s previous records have all been good, but This Little Bird is her most defining moment yet. The strong-voiced singer has rarely penned better songs or chosen better covers.

Opener "Effortless" sees her and her piano dominate, a slow-burning but powerful statement being made. The version of fellow countrywoman Joni Mitchell''s "A Case of You" burn with a steady flame. Crowe gets to the heart of the mystical, intoxicating song. "You''re In My Blood Like Holy Wine" has rarely been a line better delivered. "Alive and Breathing" has one of her best melodies and is a breezy but focused song. She even gets away with covering Aretha Franklin''s "I Never Loved a Man (The Way That I Love You)" in a soulful way.

Crowe''s focused and her art''s never been better. This little bird is airborne.

Copyright © 2006 Anna Maria Stjärnell

© 2006 FuzzLogic


Ultra Sound
The Province (Canada)
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Section: E-Today
Byline: Tom Harrison


Allison Crowe

This Little Bird (Independent)

There is a spare backing to this record that allows Crowe''s focused intensity to shine through. It''s just enough to create a few highlights that complement her -- background vocals that add fullness, drumming that is hardly there but propels the songs, stand-up bass that anchors them -- but mostly this is, once again, Crowe at her piano. She shows an eclecticism that also reinforces her own songs. The best moments have atmosphere and her moodiness is truly affecting.


Allison Crowe: This Little Bird
Monday, October 30, 2006
by Muruch (USA)

Allison Crowe''s new album, This Little Bird, has finally been released so I''m consolidating my posts about the album into this one. I''ve been living with and listening to an advanced copy for almost two months now, waiting for the official release to post my full review. Despite being very familiar with the songs by now, I was still quite excited to receive the finished product last week.

This Little Bird includes nine original songs and a trio of covers: "A Case of You" (originally by Joni Mitchell), "Darling Be Home Soon" (originally by John Sebastian) and "I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)" (originally by Ronnie Shannon, best-known as covered by Aretha Franklin).

In addition to her credits of singer, songwriter, and musician (guitar and piano), Allison engineered and produced the album. The packaging of the album is simple and elegant, apparently a throwback to the old school vinyl jackets. The photography is initimate and candlelit, taken by Billie Woods (currently on tour with Allison).

Though I obviously love music very much, there are only a few singers that can really get to me with only the power of their voice. Eva Cassidy, Jeff Buckley, Antony & The Johnsons, and Damien Rice are a few examples of this, and now Allison Crowe.

"Effortless" is one of those subtle songs that quietly draws out whatever emotion you''re feeling. Or at least that''s how it effects me every time I listen to it. The lyrics stand out almost as much as Allison''s voice. The insecurity and self-doubt of the song are very easy to relate to, and as usual Allison''s vocals sound completely sincere.

I''m not certain if the opening lyric is the best part of "Skeletons and Spirits", or if it''s the cowbell. Either way, it''s a great song. The vocals go from the wry and slightly bitter opening verses soaring into an almost wail and then sliding back down into a purr.

I am probably the only person in the world that wasn''t in love with Joni Mitchell''s "A Case of You". Which is weird since I like most of Joni''s other songs, but I just never got the mass appeal of this one song of hers. And the covers, oy. Like "Hallelujah", it''s covered far too often by singers who really have no business singing it. Until now. Yes, I realize that Allison could sing the alphabet and I''d think it was a masterpiece, but still. Her emotive singing style made this song finally click with me, and now I''m like everyone else who loves it.

I love the way "Alive and Breathing" starts out so quiet with Allison''s solo vocals over a simple tune and builds into a crescendo of voices and music. Sadly, the full aural experience of the song doesn''t seem to carry over well into mp3. It sounds much better blaring from the stereo.

"Now" remains one of my favourites on the album. I wish that every singer-songwriter that considers doing the speak-sing thing would listen to this song. This is how to do it right. On the verses, Allison speak-sings, but she sings more than speaks so it flows smoothly with the music and blends into the all sing chorus. It''s structured just right and sang beautifully. Of course, I know very little about song structure or writing or singing really, but I know what sounds good to my ears and this one surely does. Especially at the end when Allison unleashes that voice.

"There Is" and "Darling Be Home Soon" are pretty piano tunes. "Silence" is a haunting waltz featuring throaty vocals that fade into a siren chorus. And "Circular Reasoning" is probably spectacular on stage with its guitar, bells, whistles, and pure, lovely vocals.

On "Phoenix" and especially on her cover of "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)", Allison gives a soulful, soaring vocal performance worthy of the great female jazz and blues vocalists of decades past.

Need more cowbell? "This Little Bird" has it. The title song is an upbeat finale for an album that I love from beginning to end.

I can honestly and without hesitation say that This Little Bird is my favourite album of 2006. I haven''t wanted to immerse myself in an album so intensely since I first heard Antony & The Johnsons. I think if the music blogiverse has any taste at all, Allison Crowe will be the new artist to be pimped out everywhere.

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