13 Songs, 47 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Loudon Wainwright’s early albums in the early 1970s were threadbare acoustic exercises that spotlighted an honest, idiosyncratic wit that had little in common with the warm, sentimental singer-songwriters of the era. Over the years, he grew more comfortable in the studio, learning to work with session musicians who could color his sentiments without steamrolling over his ideas. Roots-oriented producer Joe Henry worked with Wainwright for director Judd Apatow’s soundtrack to Knocked Up and the two hit the studio to rework this collection of overlooked Wainwright classics. Wainwright’s voice is deeper and more affecting. He sings with greater warmth and less angst and contempt. The pathetic, desperate singer-songwriter who tries to woo the potential groupie to his room for “Motel Blues” sounds almost resigned to his barren fate. The wariness over potential fame in “Saw Your Name In the Paper” now sounds like experience well learned. “New Paint” is now sung from the age it requires. But it’s Greg Leisz’s pedal steel, Jay Bellerose’s drums, and Patrick Warren’s keys that transform these tunes into full color films where they were once eerie sketches.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Loudon Wainwright’s early albums in the early 1970s were threadbare acoustic exercises that spotlighted an honest, idiosyncratic wit that had little in common with the warm, sentimental singer-songwriters of the era. Over the years, he grew more comfortable in the studio, learning to work with session musicians who could color his sentiments without steamrolling over his ideas. Roots-oriented producer Joe Henry worked with Wainwright for director Judd Apatow’s soundtrack to Knocked Up and the two hit the studio to rework this collection of overlooked Wainwright classics. Wainwright’s voice is deeper and more affecting. He sings with greater warmth and less angst and contempt. The pathetic, desperate singer-songwriter who tries to woo the potential groupie to his room for “Motel Blues” sounds almost resigned to his barren fate. The wariness over potential fame in “Saw Your Name In the Paper” now sounds like experience well learned. “New Paint” is now sung from the age it requires. But it’s Greg Leisz’s pedal steel, Jay Bellerose’s drums, and Patrick Warren’s keys that transform these tunes into full color films where they were once eerie sketches.

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