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Rock - Verschenen op 6 oktober 2003 | Loose Music

The Handsome Family's unique take on traditionalist country finds another fine platform on 2003's Singing Bones. Husband-and-wife team Brett and Rennie Sparks explore dusty, melancholic territory -- both musically and lyrically -- by combining a taste for rootsy, old-school country (for which Brett's resonant baritone is perfectly suited) with literate, evocative, image-rich lyrics. Singing Bones finds all these qualities in place. Scenes and characters float through vividly drawn settings ("24-Hour Store," "Whitehaven"), while the instrumentation, arrangements, and ambience conjure dark forests and backwoods ghosts. As old-world as the Handsome Family might seem, there is an incisive, contemporary sensibility to everything, from the gleaming production to the perfectly chosen words. Singing Bones once again proves again how the group can seamlessly bridge the gap between present and past. © Anthony Tognazzini /TiVo
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Country - Verschenen op 2 februari 1998 | Carrot Top Records

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Rock - Verschenen op 26 januari 1998 | Loose Music

Through the Trees was the Handsome Family's breakthrough album, garnering enough attention and sales that they were finally able to quit their day jobs and focus on music full-time. The group subsequently toured the U.S. and Europe, while critics on both sides of the Atlantic went nuts for the Sparks' clever, brooding songs. With Through the Trees, the transitional phase heard on Milk and Scissors was complete and the duo emerged with a more defined style, delivery, and songcraft which became their trademark sound. Brett sings with a deeper resonance and phrases Rennie's mini-stories more skillfully, while the occasional distorted guitar and harder-rocking tunes have been trimmed away, leaving a more consistent, stripped-down country feel. This album includes Rennie's vocal debut (albeit in a self-conscious, exaggerated nasal twang) on "Down in the Ground"; "Cathedrals," a song originally heard on their limited-edition vinyl EP Invisible Hands (Carrot Top, 1997); and enduring crowd favorites "The Woman Downstairs" and "Weightless Again." It also includes guest Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. While the albums that followed were excellent, Through the Trees remains the Handsome Family's definitive album, and is a wonderful encapsulation of the myths and heartbroken tales that populate the dark, romantic world of Brett and Rennie Sparks. © Joslyn Layne /TiVo
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Rock - Verschenen op 24 september 2016 | Loose Music

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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 21 januari 2014 | Carrot Top Records

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Rock - Verschenen op 2 oktober 2001 | Loose Music

In the world of the Handsome Family, it would appear that the glass is half full. The only problem is that the glass is either upside down or shattered on the floor. Riddled with dark and morbid tales of suburbia, murder, and the demise of carrying pigeons, the baker's dozen offerings seem animal-oriented, but still teem with an eerie old-time country & western sense of foreboding. Although the first track, "The Snow White Diner," seems uplifting with its "Layla"-like intro, the album waltzes along with keyboards and basic bare-bones accompaniment. Particularly pretty is "All the TVs in Town" and the spacy background of "Gravity." There is also a sense of this being a dysfunctional Christmas album, exemplified by "Birds You Cannot See." The husband and wife team of Rennie Sparks on keyboards and singer Brett Sparks lead the listener down a lovely yet dark trail few would dare tread twice. © Jason MacNeil /TiVo
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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 13 mei 2013 | Carrot Top Records

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Rock - Verschenen op 9 juli 2002 | The Handsome Family

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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 17 september 2001 | Milk & Scissors

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Folk - Verschenen op 1 juni 2010 | Handsome Family Music

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Rock - Verschenen op 15 februari 2000 | Loose Music

If their last album, Through the Trees, came to us from the darkness at the bottom of a well (or a liquor bottle), In the Air is the sound of the Handsome Family after they made it out of the depths and up onto the grass -- and are now adjusting to a less desperate life. Not to say that it's sunny. Lyricist Rennie Sparks still presents us with dark and bloody tragedies, as well as whimsical fairytales about lonely, but hopeful figures. The difference between In the Air and the Handsome Family's last album seems to be the presence of a calm (as opposed to disturbed restraint) and a certain warmth pervading this album. Brett Sparks' vocal delivery comes across as more relaxed and natural and in lieu of the occasional, creepy vocal effects used on the last album. The colorful, sad, and disturbed scenes are often delivered with a country flavor and a folk instrumentation, and include songs that are the rightful offspring of Appalachian murder ballads, such as "My Beautiful Bride" and "Up Falling Rock Hill," and southern hymns ("Never Grow Old"). The Handsome Family's songs are imbued with a tender romanticism and love of the fantastic -- and of a world that, for all it's real twists and sadness, still holds moments of childlike wonder and magical possibilities. In the Air was recorded, as were their three previous albums, in the Handsome Family living room, this time with live percussion (provided by Brett) instead of a drum machine. Also heard are guest musicians Darrell Sparks, who sings backup and plays guitar on two songs, and violinist Andrew Bird (formerly of the Squirrel Nut Zippers, leader of his own roots music-based band) who contributes to "Poor, Poor Lenore," "Up Falling Rock Hill," and "When That Helicopter Comes," a hellfire and brimstone, foot-stomping number with a sparse, bluegrass delivery: "It's gonna rain champagne/and the hills are gonna dance... The sky will swim in lightning fire and the trees will shake and scream." © Joslyn Layne /TiVo
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Country - Verschenen op 9 januari 1995 | LOOSE

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Folk - Verschenen op 1 juli 2002 | Handsome Family Music

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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 13 mei 2013 | Carrot Top Records

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Rock - Verschenen op 31 januari 2013 | Loose Music

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Country - Verschenen op 1 januari 1996 | LOOSE

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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 15 november 2019 | LOOSE

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Country - Verschenen op 11 november 2008 | Carrot Top Records

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Rock - Verschenen op 31 januari 2013 | Loose Music

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Rock - Verschenen op 31 januari 2013 | Loose Music