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Chris Whitley - Terra Incognita

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Terra Incognita

Chris Whitley

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On Terra Incognita, Chris Whitley incorporates the grunge flourishes of Din of Ecstasy into the roots-rock foundations of his debut, Living with the Law. Instead of relying on processed distorted guitars, Whitley uses noise as texture, which helps his songs breathe. While the musical direction of Terra Incognita is considerably more focused than its confused predecessor, Whitley's songwriting remains uneven. Though he has written a better, more diverse record than before, he has yet to produce a set of songs that demonstrate the depth and variety of Living with the Law. Too often, he relies on cliches or simplistic ideas, like the single "Automatic," but when he digs a little deeper, his songs still resonate deeply, which means Terra Incognita is a partial, not a full, comeback.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Terra Incognita

Chris Whitley

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1
As Flat As The Earth (Exp)
00:01:06

Mark Howard, Recording Engineer - Daniel Lanois, Guitar - Trixie Whitley, Background Vocal - Don C. Tyler, Mastering Engineer - Chris Whitley, Composer, Lyricist, Banjo, Guitar, Bass, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Dougie Brown, Drums, Guitar, Keyboards, Bass - Steve Almaas, Bass - Patricia Place, Guitar - Wayne Lorenz, Assistant Engineer - Chris Whitley, Toby Wright, Mark Howard, Dougie Bowne, Producer - Jessie Lee Montague, Background Vocal - Louis Lepore, Guitar - Melvin Gibb, Bass - Matt Gruenberg, Bass - Alan Gevaerst, Bass

(P) 1996 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

2
Automatic
00:03:48

Mark Howard, Recording Engineer - Daniel Lanois, Guitar - Trixie Whitley, Background Vocal - Don C. Tyler, Mastering Engineer - Chris Whitley, Composer, Lyricist, Banjo, Guitar, Bass, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Dougie Brown, Drums, Guitar, Keyboards, Bass - Steve Almaas, Bass - Patricia Place, Guitar - Wayne Lorenz, Assistant Engineer - Chris Whitley, Toby Wright, Mark Howard, Dougie Bowne, Producer - Jessie Lee Montague, Background Vocal - Louis Lepore, Guitar - Melvin Gibb, Bass - Matt Gruenberg, Bass - Alan Gevaerst, Bass

(P) 1996 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

3
Clear Blue Sky
00:05:03

Mark Howard, Recording Engineer - Daniel Lanois, Guitar - Trixie Whitley, Background Vocal - Don C. Tyler, Mastering Engineer - Chris Whitley, Composer, Lyricist, Banjo, Guitar, Bass, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Dougie Brown, Drums, Guitar, Keyboards, Bass - Steve Almaas, Bass - Patricia Place, Guitar - Wayne Lorenz, Assistant Engineer - Chris Whitley, Toby Wright, Mark Howard, Dougie Bowne, Producer - Jessie Lee Montague, Background Vocal - Louis Lepore, Guitar - Melvin Gibb, Bass - Matt Gruenberg, Bass - Alan Gevaerst, Bass

(P) 1996 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

4
Weightless
00:03:04

Mark Howard, Recording Engineer - Daniel Lanois, Guitar - Trixie Whitley, Background Vocal - Don C. Tyler, Mastering Engineer - Chris Whitley, Composer, Lyricist, Banjo, Guitar, Bass, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Dougie Brown, Drums, Guitar, Keyboards, Bass - Steve Almaas, Bass - Patricia Place, Guitar - Wayne Lorenz, Assistant Engineer - Chris Whitley, Toby Wright, Mark Howard, Dougie Bowne, Producer - Jessie Lee Montague, Background Vocal - Louis Lepore, Guitar - Melvin Gibb, Bass - Matt Gruenberg, Bass - Alan Gevaerst, Bass

(P) 1996 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

5
Power Down
00:03:53

Mark Howard, Recording Engineer - Daniel Lanois, Guitar - Trixie Whitley, Background Vocal - Don C. Tyler, Mastering Engineer - Chris Whitley, Composer, Lyricist, Banjo, Guitar, Bass, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Dougie Brown, Drums, Guitar, Keyboards, Bass - Steve Almaas, Bass - Patricia Place, Guitar - Wayne Lorenz, Assistant Engineer - Chris Whitley, Toby Wright, Mark Howard, Dougie Bowne, Producer - Jessie Lee Montague, Background Vocal - Louis Lepore, Guitar - Melvin Gibb, Bass - Matt Gruenberg, Bass - Alan Gevaerst, Bass

(P) 1996 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

6
On Cue
00:03:28

Mark Howard, Recording Engineer - Daniel Lanois, Guitar - Trixie Whitley, Background Vocal - Don C. Tyler, Mastering Engineer - Chris Whitley, Composer, Lyricist, Banjo, Guitar, Bass, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Dougie Brown, Drums, Guitar, Keyboards, Bass - Steve Almaas, Bass - Patricia Place, Guitar - Wayne Lorenz, Assistant Engineer - Chris Whitley, Toby Wright, Mark Howard, Dougie Bowne, Producer - Jessie Lee Montague, Background Vocal - Louis Lepore, Guitar - Melvin Gibb, Bass - Matt Gruenberg, Bass - Alan Gevaerst, Bass

(P) 1996 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

7
Immortal Blues
00:02:30

Mark Howard, Recording Engineer - Daniel Lanois, Guitar - Trixie Whitley, Background Vocal - Don C. Tyler, Mastering Engineer - Chris Whitley, Composer, Lyricist, Banjo, Guitar, Bass, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Dougie Brown, Drums, Guitar, Keyboards, Bass - Steve Almaas, Bass - Patricia Place, Guitar - Wayne Lorenz, Assistant Engineer - Chris Whitley, Toby Wright, Mark Howard, Dougie Bowne, Producer - Jessie Lee Montague, Background Vocal - Louis Lepore, Guitar - Melvin Gibb, Bass - Matt Gruenberg, Bass - Alan Gevaerst, Bass

(P) 1996 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

8
Cool Wooden Crosses
00:02:48

TOBY WRIGHT, Producer - Chris Whitley, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Bass, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Dougie Brown, Drums

(P) 1996 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

9
Still Point
00:04:17

Mark Howard, Recording Engineer - Daniel Lanois, Guitar - Trixie Whitley, Background Vocal - Don C. Tyler, Mastering Engineer - Chris Whitley, Composer, Lyricist, Banjo, Guitar, Bass, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Dougie Brown, Drums, Guitar, Keyboards, Bass - Steve Almaas, Bass - Patricia Place, Guitar - Wayne Lorenz, Assistant Engineer - Chris Whitley, Toby Wright, Mark Howard, Dougie Bowne, Producer - Jessie Lee Montague, Background Vocal - Louis Lepore, Guitar - Melvin Gibb, Bass - Matt Gruenberg, Bass - Alan Gevaerst, Bass

(P) 1996 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

10
Gasket
00:04:03

Mark Howard, Recording Engineer - Daniel Lanois, Guitar - Trixie Whitley, Background Vocal - Don C. Tyler, Mastering Engineer - Chris Whitley, Composer, Lyricist, Banjo, Guitar, Bass, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Dougie Brown, Drums, Guitar, Keyboards, Bass - Steve Almaas, Bass - Patricia Place, Guitar - Wayne Lorenz, Assistant Engineer - Chris Whitley, Toby Wright, Mark Howard, Dougie Bowne, Producer - Jessie Lee Montague, Background Vocal - Louis Lepore, Guitar - Melvin Gibb, Bass - Matt Gruenberg, Bass - Alan Gevaerst, Bass

(P) 1996 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

11
One Long Day
00:02:19

Mark Howard, Recording Engineer - Daniel Lanois, Guitar - Trixie Whitley, Background Vocal - Don C. Tyler, Mastering Engineer - Chris Whitley, Composer, Lyricist, Banjo, Guitar, Bass, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Dougie Brown, Drums, Guitar, Keyboards, Bass - Steve Almaas, Bass - Patricia Place, Guitar - Wayne Lorenz, Assistant Engineer - Chris Whitley, Toby Wright, Mark Howard, Dougie Bowne, Producer - Jessie Lee Montague, Background Vocal - Louis Lepore, Guitar - Melvin Gibb, Bass - Matt Gruenberg, Bass - Alan Gevaerst, Bass

(P) 1996 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

12
Aerial
00:05:12

Mark Howard, Recording Engineer - Daniel Lanois, Guitar - Trixie Whitley, Background Vocal - Don C. Tyler, Mastering Engineer - Chris Whitley, Composer, Lyricist, Banjo, Guitar, Bass, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Dougie Brown, Drums, Guitar, Keyboards, Bass - Steve Almaas, Bass - Patricia Place, Guitar - Wayne Lorenz, Assistant Engineer - Chris Whitley, Toby Wright, Mark Howard, Dougie Bowne, Producer - Jessie Lee Montague, Background Vocal - Louis Lepore, Guitar - Melvin Gibb, Bass - Matt Gruenberg, Bass - Alan Gevaerst, Bass

(P) 1996 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

13
Alien
00:04:30

Mark Howard, Recording Engineer - Daniel Lanois, Guitar - Trixie Whitley, Background Vocal - Don C. Tyler, Mastering Engineer - Chris Whitley, Composer, Lyricist, Banjo, Guitar, Bass, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Dougie Brown, Drums, Guitar, Keyboards, Bass - Steve Almaas, Bass - Patricia Place, Guitar - Wayne Lorenz, Assistant Engineer - Chris Whitley, Toby Wright, Mark Howard, Dougie Bowne, Producer - Jessie Lee Montague, Background Vocal - Louis Lepore, Guitar - Melvin Gibb, Bass - Matt Gruenberg, Bass - Alan Gevaerst, Bass

(P) 1996 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

Album Description

On Terra Incognita, Chris Whitley incorporates the grunge flourishes of Din of Ecstasy into the roots-rock foundations of his debut, Living with the Law. Instead of relying on processed distorted guitars, Whitley uses noise as texture, which helps his songs breathe. While the musical direction of Terra Incognita is considerably more focused than its confused predecessor, Whitley's songwriting remains uneven. Though he has written a better, more diverse record than before, he has yet to produce a set of songs that demonstrate the depth and variety of Living with the Law. Too often, he relies on cliches or simplistic ideas, like the single "Automatic," but when he digs a little deeper, his songs still resonate deeply, which means Terra Incognita is a partial, not a full, comeback.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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