Orphans of God
(a Mark Heard tribute)
14 Jun 1996
NOTE: this hardly counts as a review since I've only been through
the music twice now. So hopefully I have stayed away from that kind
of criticism. However here is what I do think/know so far, for those
who haven't purchased yet:
OK, so I am a pretty negative/critical individual at times, so when
I got my OOG in the email that I ordered last November, I was probably
set to be a little harsh in my evaluation. However, let me just say
that the little note that they included to explain the reason for the
delay (Which BTW, described the VIA issue w/o naming them: very mature
IMHO), and also apologized, was a very nice touch.
And reading the track listing on the back I found a few things that
bugged me. But music isn't about reading, now is it? So please,
*read* on ;-)
- Lots of songs (2 discs, each with 17 songs and each clocking in at
- Long renditions (avg 4.5 min each)
- Very WELL DONE booklet. (color pictures, journal excerpts, full lyrics,
full lists of players, etc.)
- Lots of artists I already know and love
- Mark's timeless lyrics
- Lots of performers I have never heard (but have heard plenty about)
with whom I obviously have an appreciation for MH in common with.
- Marvin Etzioni: who is this guy? WOW! His intrepretive version
of "Hammers and Nails" (which covers lyrical snippets from quite
a few other Heard favorites as well) is a befitting closing to the
second disc and collection as a whole. (Maybe a tad over the top,
croaking voice and all, but you can't deny the man's emotion!)
- For that matter, the whole collection seems to be layed out quite well.
(i.e. both the starting song and ending song for each disc seem to
me to be the perfect picks)
Summary: Buy it, I'm not dissapointed at all, even after having
ordered it 6 months ago!
- There are 3 songs that are covered twice (but at least they put them on
separate discs) Its "34 songs written by Mark Heard", not "34 DIFFERENT
songs written by Mark Heard", see the difference? Namely:
Strong Hand Of Love: Bruce Cockburn, Da
(actually BC's is a very stripped-down mostly acoustic effort, and
Da's is pretty much the opposite of that)
All in all, even though this is a con, that in a perfect world they all
would have covered different songs, they handled it pretty well IMHO.
Besides, who hasn't bought a 12 song release only to find that 2 of
the songs are only remixes/alternate-versions of songs already on
Rise From The Ruins: Brooks Williams, Parmin Sisters
(actually PS's includes Nobody's Looking, too)
Tip Of My Tongue: Tom Prasada-Rao, The Choir
(again, like the BC vs. Da pieces, acoustic vs. electric-rock)
- The cynical amongst us might on first pass see this as
"A Fingerprint Talent-Pool Sampler" it does include these Fingerprint
And except for the last 4, probably not his contemporaries and/or a
stylistic-fit. But thats only if you are *only* reading. These people
do great jobs with Mark's songs. There isn't a slouch in the bunch.
I shouldn't have expected any less, but then again, we've already covered
me, haven't we? ;-)
harrod and funck
- No T Bone, No Sam: this issue has been beaten to death before.
Suffice it to say, that its not under Fingerprint's control to *make*
them contribute something, that wouldn't be in the spirit of this project
anyway, now would it? So my dissapointment in the final estimation
has more to do with them and less to do with OOG.
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