The Tree of Forgiveness
LP (12" album, 33 rpm)
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The Tree of Forgiveness
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Vinyl, May 11, 2018
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The highly-anticipated album, The Tree of Forgiveness, is Prine's first collection of new material since 2005's Grammy-winning Fair and Square. Rather than going out on a limb, Prine cultivated the themes that have brought international acclaim since the 1970s. For example, he can take a topic like loneliness and make it funny or heartbreaking.
Prine teamed with Grammy-winning producer Dave Cobb to record in Nashville's historic Studio A, enlisting friends like Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell, and Amanda Shires to sing along. The songs are new, although some had waited to be finished for decades, like a co-write with Phil Spectro called 'God Only Knows'; Another incomplete song, 'I Have Met My Love Today' now celebrates the unexpected spark that leads to lifelong romance -- with a dash of youthful innocence. The musical arrangements may be simpler than on past efforts, yet his unique ability to distill complex emotions into everyday language remains fully intact.
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On this release, Mr. Prine delivers another masterpiece of telling a story. He is an American treasure who - as most of the above mentioned - are totally under-appreciated for their ability, in this day and age, to weave a good tale and music to match.
At this point in a review I usually put forth my favorites. There isn't a weak song amongst this grouping and I really like the CD in its entirety. So slip this into the player and take a 10 song vacation.
The songs have all those endearing qualities that make us love John Prine so much; tunes with melody and humor and humility and hope. Songs bursting with life and joy. Love it, love it, love it!!!!
And that voice? A few years older, sure, but reassuringly, he sounds in very fine form. Such a pleasure to hear such wonderful music, especially during these trying times.
I'm getting my ticket now before his tour skips past my campfire . Thank you John Prine
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I've been a fan since the very early 70's when he was a featured artist on BBC's "In Concert" programme and played the songs from his first, eponymous, album.
This is, in its way, just as good as that first, brilliant, album. He seems to have an absence of fear of death and almost seems to be laughing in the face of it, as in "When I Get To Heaven", the final track from which lyrics the album title is derived from. He is backed by some old friends in Dave Jacques, Jason Wilbur and Dave Cobb, with guests including Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires.
It's a short album, just over half an hour, but that's not a concern. The music is beautiful, the musicianship is spot-on, his singing is charming and the album is a little masterpiece.
Update 9 April 2020. Two days ago, John Prine died from the Coronavirus, a truly devastating end for his family and friends, but also a very sad loss to the music world and his fans. His music will live on, but this final glorious album is a fitting tribute to a wonderful artist.
One gripe download card included which is fine, but when I bought the two previous albums it was also sent to my prime music player automatically. I can’t get the download card to Amazon player
"Thank you", from one old timer to another.