I was really unsure if I would like this, considering just how much I loved her two previous records. It seemed at first, Have One On Me would turn out unfocused.. but luckily, it ain't so! At times I think there might even be a concept album (or two) be hidden under the sheer amount of great tracks, loosely connected by themes and motifs. At first I thought this album was about a relationship and how it ends because of the woman losing a baby.. but I think we'll never know...
I still like Ys and Milk-eyed Mender slightly better, though! Still... Have One On Me is an instant classic!
I also love the symnetry of the album as a whole, as well as how each third of the album works so well on their own too. The stunning piano-chord songs that start and end the album. The long-running second and second-last songs that show her amazing ability to make unusual song structures sound like you've only been listening for a couple minutes. it just keeps coming full circle.
is it okay that I adore every fucking song on this thing? I haven't found an actual weak spot. even the ones people might not warm to immediately (and I'm assuming here) like You and Me Bess, Jackrabbits and Autumn are stunning to me. But I really think...you know what, I can't decide whatsoever would be the best track. They all standout? In California does stun me, as well as Go Long. But then there's Have One On Me, and Esme, and Kingfisher. This album is such a classic already to me. It just feels like a mighty work that will remain with me for the remainder of my life. Even already, if I'm not feeling alright with how things are, I really like the fact that I have this album to draw warmth from.
disc 3 has the flawless suite of Soft As Chalk (the culmination of every area she'd already succeed in), 'Esme' (a classic for the 2 bars where she sings 'Kindness prevails!' alone) and Autumn (a serious grower). Ribbon Bows blows, but Kingfisher is fucking A, and has some of the best harp action on the album. Does Not Suffice strikes the perfect tone for the end of this epic. Kinda like the title track on [album artist=Laura Nyro]New York Tendaberry[/album]. .......I don't like disc 2 cos its got Go Long on it which goes on too long, and the rest, while good enough, pale in comparison to the stunning quality on disc 1 + 3. Occident is a cracker, though, and it leads in perfectly to 'Soft as Chalk' - which would have made disc 3 even mightier.
I miss the intensity & trembling of her voice which fascinated me on Ys. Well, after repeatedly listening to Have One... I can only say that the Ys is the miracle... One of the best records of the past decade. Have One... is OK, very good, but just - that...
Interesting take Crustclock. Personally, I feel like "Autumn" really slows Disc 3 down too much. If I were to take my favorite three tracks from Disc 1 (Have One on Me, Good Intentions Paving Company, and Baby Birch) Disc 2 (On a Good Day, You and Me Bess, In California) and Disc 3 (Soft as Chalk, Ribbon Bows, and Kingfisher) and make them into one disc, it'd be a perfect album. For now, it's still a pretty darn fantastic one.