The Milk-Eyed Mender

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The Milk-Eyed Mender
The Milk-Eyed Mender (Front Cover).png
Studio album by Joanna Newsom
Released March 23, 2004
Genre Indie folk
Length 52:05
Label Drag City
Producer Noah Georgeson
Joanna Newsom chronology
The Milk-Eyed Mender
(2004)
Ys
(2006)
Singles from The Milk-Eyed Mender
  1. "Sprout and the Bean"
    Released: November 2, 2004

The Milk-Eyed Mender is the debut album by American singer-songwriter Joanna Newsom, released on March 23, 2004 on the Drag City label (see 2004 in music).

Joanna Newsom wrote all the songs on the album except for "Three Little Babes", a traditional Appalachian song by Texas Gladden. According to the liner notes, Joanna plays "a Lyon & Healy style 15 harp, a wurlitzer electric piano, a harpsichord, and piano."

A bandmate in San Francisco band The Pleased, Noah Georgeson, produced and recorded the album, as well as contributing guitar to two tracks and backing vocals to one. Cover art embroidery is by Emily Prince and photographs are by Alissa Anderson. Newsom thanks former touring partners Will Oldham, Devendra Banhart, and Vetiver, along with many others.

The song "Swansea" was covered by the band Bombay Bicycle Club and featured on their sophomore album Flaws in 2010.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[1]
Mojo 3/5 stars[2]
Pitchfork Media 8.0/10[3]
Tiny Mix Tapes 4.5/5[4]
Uncut 4/5 stars[5]
The Village Voice A−[6]

The Milk-Eyed Mender received widespread critical acclaim from contemporary music critics, earning Newsom several accolades that same year and by the end of the decade.

Nicole Chavas of Tiny Mix Tapes praised the album, stating, "The Milk-Eyed Mender is incredible. There isn't a poorly written song to be found, both musically and lyrically. Moving effortlessly from soft, gorgeous balladry (the stunning album closer "Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie") to lively, bubbly tunes (the strident and animated "Inflammatory Writ"), Newsom's ability to give life to her mesmerizing, heartfelt narratives never falters. Her lyrics are insightful and complex, often making reference to religious and historical figures as well as literary geniuses, even in a song somewhat ambiguously dedicated to her dog ("Sadie"). I can be almost certain in saying that there is no one like Joanna Newsom making music today. She's one of the most remarkable, talented, and fascinating songwriters to cross my path in quite some time, and I can only hope that she and her harp have more in store in the future to expand upon, and perhaps even surpass, her wonderful debut."[4]

MacKenzie Wilson of AllMusic gave the album a favorable review, stating, "Newsom's childlike voice brings an unstudied grace to an innocent setting of songs, and such quirkiness is hard to find among most guitar-driven indie acts. Delicate harp arrangements are nicely sprinkled among specks of pianos, organs, and a harpsichord, only adding to the fascination that is Milk-Eyed Mender. Newsom exists in several musical spheres, one being a member of The Pleased, while not forgetting how wonderful it is to live in a warm place that leaves you bright-eyed and hopeful for only what is good in life."[1]

The Sunday Times ranked it at #28 on its best albums of the decade list, and in 2009, Pitchfork Media named The Milk-Eyed Mender the 47th greatest album of the 2000s.[7] The website also named "Peach, Plum, Pear" the 197th Greatest Song of the 2000s (decade) and "Sprout & The Bean" the 229th.[8][9] Slant Magazine named the album the 83rd best album of its decade.[10] The Milk-Eyed Mender was also ranked number 76 inside Tiny Mix Tapes's greatest records of the 2000s (decade) list.[11]

According to The New York Times The Milk-Eyed Mender has sold more than 200,000 copies in the U.S., despite not charting.[12]

Accolades[edit]

End of Year
End of Decade
Other

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Joanna Newsom, except where noted. 

No. Title Length
1. "Bridges and Balloons"   3:42
2. "Sprout and the Bean"   4:32
3. "The Book of Right-On"   4:29
4. "Sadie"   6:02
5. "Inflammatory Writ"   2:50
6. "This Side of the Blue"   5:21
7. ""En Gallop""   5:07
8. "Cassiopeia"   3:20
9. "Peach, Plum, Pear"   3:34
10. "Swansea"   5:05
11. "Three Little Babes" (traditional) 3:42
12. "Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie"   4:21
Total length:
52:05

Personnel[edit]

  • Joanna Newsom – vocals, harp, harpsichord, wurlitzer
  • Noah Georgeson – producer
  • Emily Prince – artwork
  • Alissa Anderson – photography

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Wilson, MacKenzie. "The Milk-Eyed Mender – Joanna Newsom". AllMusic. Retrieved April 29, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Joanna Newsom – Milk-Eyed Mender CD". CD Universe. Retrieved February 8, 2016. 
  3. ^ Stosuy, Brandon (March 17, 2004). "Joanna Newsom: The Milk-Eyed Mender". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved April 29, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b NicoleMC99. "Joanna Newsom – The Milk-Eyed Mender". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved February 8, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Joanna Newsom – The Milk-Eyed Mender". Uncut. Archived from the original on December 1, 2006. Retrieved February 8, 2016. 
  6. ^ Christgau, Robert (February 8, 2005). "Consumer Guide: Harmonies and Abysses". The Village Voice. Retrieved February 8, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Staff Lists: The Top 200 Albums of the 2000s: 50-21". Pitchfork. 2009-10-01. Retrieved 2010-02-25. 
  8. ^ "Staff Lists: The Top 500 Tracks of the 2000s: 200-101". Pitchfork. 2009-08-18. Retrieved 2010-02-25. 
  9. ^ "Staff Lists: The Top 500 Tracks of the 2000s: 500-201". Pitchfork. 2009-08-17. Retrieved 2010-02-25. 
  10. ^ "Best of the Aughts: Albums | Music". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2010-02-25. 
  11. ^ "Favorite 100 Albums of 2000-2009: 80-61 | Staff Feature". Tiny Mix Tapes. 2009-01-20. Retrieved 2010-02-25. 
  12. ^ Rosen, Jody (2010-03-07). "Joanna Newsom, the Changeling". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-25. 
  13. ^ "End of the Year: 2004". Retrieved 2009-01-07. 
  14. ^ "Best Albums of 2004". Retrieved 2009-01-07. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "The Milk-Eyed Mender at Acclaimedmusic.net". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2010-05-09. 
  16. ^ "Favorite Albums of 2004". Retrieved 2009-01-07. 
  17. ^ "Top 50 Albums of 2004". Retrieved 2009-01-07. 
  18. ^ "Top 50 Albums of 2004". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2009-01-07. 
  19. ^ "Top Albums of 2004". Sonemic, Inc. Retrieved 2016-07-29. 
  20. ^ "The Top 40 Albums of 2004". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 2009-01-07. 
  21. ^ "The 2004 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll". The Village Voice. Retrieved 2009-01-07. 
  22. ^ a b "Music: Milk-Eyed Mender (CD) by Joanna Newsom (Artist)". Tower.com. 2004-03-23. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  23. ^ a b "The Old Acclaimed Music Forum - A Bravenet.com Forum". Pub37.bravenet.com. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  24. ^ "The Old Acclaimed Music Forum - A Bravenet.com Forum". Pub37.bravenet.com. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  25. ^ "Staff Lists: The Top 200 Albums of the 2000s: 50-21 | Features". Pitchfork. 2009-10-01. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  26. ^ "Best of the Aughts: Albums | Feature". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  27. ^ · in Best Of, Feature (2010-01-18). "The Best Albums of the '00s : Treble: Music news, reviews, interviews and more". Treblezine.com. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  28. ^ "Top 100 Albums of 2000-04". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2009-01-07. 
  29. ^ "100 Best Indie Rock Albums of All Time". amazon.com. Amazon.com. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 

External links[edit]