by Paula Cole

Vinyl LP(Long Playing Record)


Twenty years after her debut album, singer and songwriter Paula Cole is looking forward while looking back. In the former instance, Raven is her first independently financed, produced, and released recording. She used a Kickstarter campaign to raise $50,000 and received $75,000, most of it in contributions of $25 at a time. She enlisted drummer Ben Wittman as a co-producer, and hired a stellar cast of players including guitarist Kevin Barry and bassist Tony Levin. Some of these tunes are older songs that never found a place in her earlier catalog and they complement the new material. The hindsight aspect of this 11- song set is in the clear references she makes in several of these songs to writers and singers who've influenced her. The first single, a tragic ballad called "Eloise," was originally written for Solomon Burke, who never cut it. It feels like Emmylou Harris and Spyboy more than it does anything Cole has released before. "Strong Beautiful Woman" has echoes of Carole King and Paul Simon in both its lyric and melodic construction. "Imaginary Man" is a shimmering ballad that gives way and becomes a dramatic, arty rocker that recalls Kate Bush in its construction. In songs such as "Eloise," "Billy Joe," "Sorrow-On-The-Hudson," and "Scream," she enters storyteller mode expertly. The album closes with "Red Corsette." Cole is introduced by a choir of humpback whales. She accompanies herself on piano and clarinet. It's nakedly confessional and offers testimony to what she perceives as her purpose, reflecting strength, anger, defiance, acceptance, and vulnerability. Those who are used to the grand productions of her earliest records or Ithaca may be a little stunned at first in hearing her without all the artifice; further, some of these songs are unrefined, even a little clunky, but that's fine; this is a collection of songs more than a formally conceived album. Ultimately, Raven is about discovery, mining creative terrain in a direct way: looking at a song, discerning what it needs, and laying it out there as authentically as possible. This is the record Cole finally had to make for herself, and as such, it will no doubt delight her fans, the ones who believed enough to concretely help her make it.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/23/2013
Label: Cd Baby
UPC: 0185922000892
catalogNumber: 5639533898

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Paula Cole   Primary Artist,Clarinet,Piano,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,Pump Organ,Beat Box
Kevin Barry   Acoustic Guitar,Dobro,Pedal Steel Guitar,Electric Guitar,Lap Steel Guitar,Hi String,Hi String Guitar (Acoustic)
Tony Levin   Bass,Stick
Ben Wittman   Percussion,Drums,Guitar (Baritone)
Gerry Leonard   Electric Guitar
Chris Rival   Hand Clapping
Mark Erelli   Electric Guitar,Background Vocals,Guitar (Nylon String)
Jon Ossman   Bass,Acoustic Bass
Mark Goldenburg   Electric Guitar,Guitar (Nylon String)
Suzanne Rival   Hand Clapping

Technical Credits

Paula Cole   Composer,Producer,Vocal Arrangements
Ben Wittman   Programming,Producer,Engineer
Chris Rival   Engineer
Mark Drury   Art Direction
Alan Rasqua   Composer
Mark Goldenburg   Arranger,String Arrangements
Matt Malkowski   Engineer

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews