A Review of the CD
"Phoenix Envy"
by Andrew Calhoun

"Phoenix Envy"
by Andrew Calhoun

Copyright 1996
Waterbug Records
P.O. Box 6605
Evanston, IL 60204
ph: (800)-466-0234

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 9/98
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
send me an email message

Folksingers are exasperating. At least Andrew Calhoun can be described that way--and challenging, oblique and impressionistic, too. The world he paints with words is complex, razor-sharp with emotion, yet unpretentious.

Listening to the 21 tracks on this CD transports the listener to a different universe. Calhoun weaves humor, playfulness, philosophical brooding, and some of the most poetic lyrics composed into an explosion of the imagination.

On "Never Enough," Calhoun writes:

"It's Not You That I'm Leaving" is a beautiful and haunting piece that zeroes in on the sometimes byzantine nature of relationships: First written in 1986, with lyrical changes in 1996, "Jack and Jill" is the equivalent of a complete short story in a puzzling, exalting seemingly seven-minute stream of consciousness. You cannot listen to this song, if blood is indeed coursing through your veins, and not be moved by its marvelous vision and incredible beauty.

"The Narnia Song," "Freedom Road," "When My Time Comes," the lyrical inventiveness continues on and on.

Calhoun is an original. Very few, if any, other performers could pull off performing one of his songs and that's the ultimate test. Folk music aficionados who enjoy wrestling with lyrical interpretations will be in heaven with this moving, emotional CD.

This release is a compilation of his compositions, with songs written from 1975 to 1996. He performs solo, with just his guitar and voice, save for assistance on one track from Andrew Bird on a violin. Missing in the liner notes is the ideas or inspiration behind each tune, as this would also be fascinating to know.

Track List:

All songs written by Andrew Calhoun.

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