Gently, Down the Stream

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Gently, Down the Stream
Gently, Down the Stream.jpg
Studio album by Come
Released 10th February, 1998
Recorded July 1997
Genre Alternative rock
Length 66:34
Label Matador Records
Domino Records
Producer Paul Q. Kolderie
Carl Plaster
Brian Dunton
Roger Seibel
Come chronology
Near-Life Experience
(1996)Near-Life Experience1996
Gently, Down the Stream

Gently, Down The Stream is the fourth and final album by Boston indie rock band Come.


Recorded and mixed by Paul Q. Kolderie at Fort Apache in 1997 during the month of June and released in early February 1998, Gently, Down the Stream is Come's fourth and, as it would eventually transpire, final album. As its predecessor, 1996's Near-Life Experience, a number of different musicians joined Thalia Zedek and Chris Brokaw to fill the void caused by the departure of drummer Arthur Johnson and bassist Sean O'Brien, the band's original rhythm section. Winston Bramen, who would later work with the Thalia Zedek Band and with Chris Brokaw in Consonant, played bass, whilst Daniel Coughlin was in charge of percussion and drums. Coughlin would also go on to perform with Zedek throughout her entire solo career.

The name of the album can be seen as either a reference to the title of Su Friedrich's 1981 short film Gently Down the Stream or an allusion to the lyrics to English language nursery rhyme "Row, Row, Row Your Boat".[1] As Zedek has stated, Arthur Johnson, the band's "drummer had made this recording of all these songs he had written, one of the songs involved 'row, row, row your boat.' Plus there was the cover we used (of someone watching an enormous wave collapse from shore), and I was thinking, 'gently down the stream' seems like a good theme for a record."[2] Moreover, Zedek has described the title as a "urination analogy".[3]



Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "One Piece" Come 6:53
2. "Recidivist" Come 3:57
3. "Stomp" Come 5:43
4. "Sorry Too Late" Come 4:49
5. "Saints Around My Neck" Come 8:27
6. "Silk City" Come 4:52
7. "Middle of Nowhere" Come 4:05
8. "The Fade-Outs" Come 5:54
9. "A Jam Blues" Come 5:07
10. "New Coat" Come 5:20
11. "The Former Model" Come 3:12
12. "March" Come 8:15

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars link
The A.V. Club Positive link
CMJ New Music Monthly Positive link
The Encyclopedia of Popular Music 3/5 stars link
Entertainment Weekly B+ link
Sputnik 4.5/5 stars link
The Virgin Encyclopedia of Nineties Music 3/5 stars link

Upon its release, CMJ New Music Monthly called Gently, Down the Stream "a king-size record from a colossal band; those who like hard rock and have never heard Come are missing out,"[4] whilst Musician Magazine began its praiseful review of the album with a rhetorical question lamenting the fact that Come was clearly fated to remain in the underground: "Have you ever noticed how the music industry regularly champions its disposable waste but can't seem to hold faith in the staying power of its true talent?"[5] Billboard magazine listed Gently, Down the Stream as one of the "10 Essential Matador Releases", placing it alongside Interpol's Turn On The Bright Lights, The Belle and Sebastian's The Boy With the Arab Strap, Pavement's Slanted and Enchanted and Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville, among others.[6] The Rough Guide to Rock states that Gently, Down the Stream showcased the band's "new-found delight in melody and volume settings lower than eleven (...) with the introspection overwhelmed by rage and thrashing guitarwork often enough for maximum listener comfort."[7]

Speak magazine commented that "Come's fourth album doesn't meander gently down any stream. If anything, it's more like Whitewater rafting through a thundering maelstrom of guitars that empty occasionally into shallow pools,"[8] going on to describe its songs as "12 gorgeous mini-epics [that] are by turns spooky and sleazy."[9] The Sunday Times' review of Gently, Down the Stream praised the album in unambiguous terms, suggesting that "as sandpaper-larynxed Zedek shares vocals with co-guitarist Chris Brokaw's softer tones, and Come abandon overdriven effects in the name of economy and songwriting, suddenly they're a great American rock band."[10] The review concluded that "Gently Down the Stream renders Come's indie ghettoisation absurd",[11] stating the band's importance in no uncertain terms: "This is a world-class act."[12]


  1. ^ Richard Martin (March 4, 1998). "Stream of Consciousness: Come conquers instability to release another album of darkly shaded guitar-rock". Willamette Week. 
  2. ^ Tim McMahan (February 26, 1998). "The Misunderstood Dreams of Come's Thalia Zedek". The Reader magazine. 
  3. ^ CMJ New Music Monthly. April 1998. 
  4. ^ CMJ New Music Monthly, Mar 1998. 
  5. ^ Musician, Issues 230-235 (Amordian Press, 1998), p. 85. 
  6. ^ Billboard Magazine, 2 October 2010. 
  7. ^ The Rough Guide to Rock, Edited by Peter Buckley (Rough Guides, 2003), p. 221. 
  8. ^ Speak magazine, Issues 5-9, (1998). 
  9. ^ Speak magazine, Issues 5-9, (1998). 
  10. ^ Stewart Lee (8 February 1998). Rock: COME - Gently Down the Stream. The Sunday Times. 
  11. ^ Stewart Lee (8 February 1998). Rock: COME - Gently Down the Stream. The Sunday Times. 
  12. ^ Stewart Lee (8 February 1998). Rock: COME - Gently Down the Stream. The Sunday Times.