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Is All Over the Map

Album: Is All Over the Map
# Song Title   Time
1)    Classico
2)    NYC of Time
3)    Remote
4)    Flying Around the Sun with Remarkable Speed
5)    Cracklin Water
6)    Rag
7)    Muss
8)    Drab
9)    Fool
10)    Les For?ats Innocents
11)    Napoli
12)    Hood (View from a Heidelberg Hotel)
13)    Classico Reprise, A
14)    Anarchistic Holshevistic Cowboy Bundle
15)    Ploy
16)    Quiet Remote, A
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Howe Gelb (vocals, guitar, piano); Indiosa Patsy Jean Gelb, Henriette Sennenvaldt, Sofie Albertsen Gelb, Marie Frank, Scout Niblett, Vic Chesnutt (vocals); Anders Pedersen (guitar, lap steel guitar); John Parish (National guitar, Mellotron, drums); Eric Drew Feldman (organ); Thoger T. Lund (upright bass, electric bass); Peter Dombernowsky (drums, percussion).
  • Audio Remasterer: Jim Blackwood.
  • Liner Note Authors: Howe Gelb; John Parish.
  • Recording information: Feedback Recording, Aarhus; Harvey's House, Tucson; Sun Studio, Copenhagen.
  • Photographer: Bill Carter .
  • With 2004's IS ALL OVER THE MAP, Giant Sand mastermind Howe Gelb turns in another album of atmospheric, off-kilter, and always-surprising rock. (This was Giant Sand's first record in decades without the rhythm section of Joey Burns and John Convertino, who decided to focus their band, Calexico, on a full-time basis.) While, at his core, Gelb is a troubadour with an acoustic guitar, and his poetic lyrics--full of detail, human suffering, and scenic landscapes--wouldn't sound out of place in a candlelit coffeehouse, his adventurous aesthetic encompasses punk, country, rockabilly, grunge, and experimental music.
  • Gelb's stylistic collage is compelling both sonically and stylistically. Country-rock is blended with shuffling, quirky pop ("Fool"), blues is buried by stadium-ready guitars ("Remote"), and Gelb's breathy baritone alternates with nerve-scraping distortion ("Classico"). The vibe is lilting and often meditative, but rocks like no ones business when you least expect it. Gelb's genre whiplash doesn't stop with the pop and rock canon: "Napoli" works a tango groove, "Les Forcats Innocents" recalls French cabaret pop, and, on "Rag," Gelb plays a ragtime piano. Such a mixed bag might seem confusing, but the sensibility on IS ALL OVER THE MAP is remarkably cohesive, resulting in something difficult to define, and even harder to resist.
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (p.98) - 3 stars out of 5 - "[I]t's a nice soundtrack for a lonesome drunken night."

Uncut (p.98) - 3 stars out of 5 - "Lyrically, the album draws together scraps of meaning from disparate regions."

Uncut (p.76) - Ranked #42 in Uncut's "Best New Albums of 2004" - "[A] stirring set of scuffed Latino rhythms, high-noon hymns and creepy piano interludes."
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