12 Songs, 59 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

An Arkansas native now living in Iowa with her husband, folk musician Greg Brown, Iris DeMent is still a Southerner at her core. It's been 16 years since her last album of original material, 1996's The Way I Should. Now DeMent returns after sitting on the sidelines for the entire alt-country explosion, which her music surely inspired. Her songs have an unhurried, timeless quality that adhere to no premeditated schedule. "Go on Ahead and Go Home" starts at the piano with just a New Orleans–inspired lick and DeMent's gospel best waiting on the band that slowly joins her until even a Hammond organ takes a quick solo. However, it isn't long before DeMent slows down for the mournful "Before the Colors Fade." The upbeat "The Night I Learned How Not to Pray" highlights the shaking of faith in a young girl who watches her young brother pass away despite the prayers. "Makin' My Way Back Home" offers a subtle execution of classic country. Co-producers Bo Ramsey and Richard Bennett coax great performances and provide steady but never heavyhanded guidance and comfort.

Mastered for iTunes

EDITORS’ NOTES

An Arkansas native now living in Iowa with her husband, folk musician Greg Brown, Iris DeMent is still a Southerner at her core. It's been 16 years since her last album of original material, 1996's The Way I Should. Now DeMent returns after sitting on the sidelines for the entire alt-country explosion, which her music surely inspired. Her songs have an unhurried, timeless quality that adhere to no premeditated schedule. "Go on Ahead and Go Home" starts at the piano with just a New Orleans–inspired lick and DeMent's gospel best waiting on the band that slowly joins her until even a Hammond organ takes a quick solo. However, it isn't long before DeMent slows down for the mournful "Before the Colors Fade." The upbeat "The Night I Learned How Not to Pray" highlights the shaking of faith in a young girl who watches her young brother pass away despite the prayers. "Makin' My Way Back Home" offers a subtle execution of classic country. Co-producers Bo Ramsey and Richard Bennett coax great performances and provide steady but never heavyhanded guidance and comfort.

Mastered for iTunes
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Ratings and Reviews

4.1 out of 5
84 Ratings

84 Ratings

Photoguy2 ,

A solid new album from Iris

I've been a fan for a long time. I read the reviews below, for the life of me I just can't understand 2 stars. I went back to listen with the reviewers thought in mind. I just don't hear it. This is a very strong album. The melodies are sure and the lyrics poetic. Of all the albums I've purchased in the last two weeks,(10) this is at the top. Great stuff if you like this genre. Thank you Iris!

Maxx Roby ,

Grows on me

I never thought Iris could write anything as good as "Our Town" or "Easy's Getting' Harder Everyday" and when she stopped writing new music for a long time I figured it was maybe like J.D. Salinger… you have a very creative period in your life and then it ends. But when I heard her voice again on the True Grit soundtrack, it reminded me of how much I missed that voice. So when I then heard the NPR interview about this album I got it and… was underwhelmed at first. Voice was great, but songs were undistinctive, heavy piano-based, repetitious. But like peeling off layers on an onion, I kept listening and it kept growing on me. I would have still liked more guitar-based or more uptempo songs, but I realize she's created a collection of beautiful vocal and lyrical gems. "The Day I learned how not to pray" is one of the saddest songs I've heard, but it's so good. "Sing the Delta" is an ear-worm that just keeps digging in. In a good way!

Beachreader2 ,

Iris is back!!!

Oh, it's been far too long since Iris Dement's last CD of original tunes. And I can tell you I can tell you it's been worth the wait. Although most of the songs heard have been those concert goers have heard for years they sound fresh and new with the background accompaniment. One of my favorites is poignant song, That's How I Learned How Not to Pray. This is an altogether Outstanding CD which will please her legions of fans and garner many more.

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