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The Magnolia Electric Co

Rate It! Avg: 4.5 (479 ratings)
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The Magnolia Electric Co album cover
01
Farewell Transmission
7:22
$0.49
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02
I've Been Riding With The Ghost
3:20
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03
Just Be Simple
4:21
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04
Almost Was Good Enough
4:28
$0.49
$0.99
05
The Old Black Hen
5:48
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06
Peoria Lunch Box Blues
5:48
$0.49
$0.99
07
John Henry Split My Heart
6:09
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$0.99
08
Hold On Magnolia
7:51
$0.49
$0.99
Album Information
EDITOR'S PICK

Total Tracks: 8   Total Length: 45:07

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Almost was good enough

Caph

Just wanted to add a link to a 10 minute live version from Grenada of Almost Was Good Enough that someone has uploaded to YouTube. It is absolutely stunning. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmUBSNbb7Nc

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The Magnolia Electric Co

stingray7

Great album. Some really great tracks and not a bad track throughout. Five stars from me.

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Magnolia Electric Co.

lonelysailor

Stone classic. His high-water mark. The early fans have kept it from being as celebrated as it should because of unhappiness at the new direction, whilst the late-comers just weren't vocal enough about it because of the country tinge in the later tracks. So odd that this one isn't better known as it is a truly great album.

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Incredible album, Jason

papajup

This is one of my favorite albums of all time...Although Peoria Lunchbox Blues would've been way better without Scout Niblett....sorry Scout.

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Just Be Simple

poopiechow

is one of my favorite songs of all time.

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Powerful

brepuck

"Farewell Transmission" haunts me on every listen. Very solid album, though I skipped "The Old Black Hen" and "Peoria Lunch Box Blues" -- two tracks sung by guests of Jason Molina.

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Not his best

iSmellBubblegum

A good but somewhat overrated Jason Molina album, in hindsight. That's not a popular opinion, but I believe this album was a huge dropoff from Didn't It Rain, even though "Fairwell Transmission" is a very good song. After hearing all of the Magnolia Electric Co. stuff Molina has put out since this, this album has to me become the sound of Molina starting to lose his way. Who knew he'd spend the next 6 years relying so heavily on bombastic slide guitar and slick country rock? Sad.

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Living under the power lines

Antagonist

There are other reviews that say that this album took a while to make an impression. I'd be lying if I said I was immediately sold myself. This was my first introduction to Songs: Ohia as a band, and after three listens or so, I was ready to dismiss Molina as a mediocre alt country snake oil salesman. Problem was that one of the songs (probably Riding w/ the Ghost or Just be Simple) crept into my subconscious, and wouldn't leave. Once that seed was planted, it grew into a mighty oak that made me see this album what for what it is: one of the finest indie / alt country albums ever recorded (and by Steve Albini to boot). I won't say unequivocally that this is Molina's best work, but there is no doubt that it's among his most consistently brilliant albums, and one that stands up w/ the best from Will Oldham et al. in the alt country genre.

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Reason to get this one:

Transmitter

Almost Was Good Enough track is reason enough to get this album.

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desperate but not pathetic

HummingBird

If you download a single track, make it "Farewell Transmission," but that song packs a punch that should really be paired with the tracks that follow. The songs are all very different from each other but the melancholy, poignant, strangely confident tone of the album lends it a cohesiveness that would otherwise be lacking.

They Say All Music Guide

From the very beginning, there was always a certain blue-collar quality to Jason Molina’s songs, a working-class element informing his lyrics. But nowhere is it more visible than on Magnolia Electric Co., the seventh Songs: Ohia album. The assured, denim-clad, ’70s rock feel of the album positions it on the dark edge of town, in the neighborhood of Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, and Bob Seger. But these are no bombastic anthems like the songs of those populist rousers. Molina remains subjective and confessional in tone even when singing, “Someone must have set ‘em up/Now they’ll be working in the cold gray rock/Now they’ll be working in the hot mill steam/Now they’ll be working in the concrete,” as he does on the incredible seven-plus minute opener, “Farewell Transmission.” The song also serves as possibly the first real recorded display on a proper full-length album of what the Songs: Ohia touring band is capable of doing. Seasoned, powerful, and dynamic — for at least this one song — Songs: Ohia is an actual band and not just Molina and company.
In fact, Magnolia as a whole has a much more open and collaborative feel than previous albums; Molina even relinquishes lead vocal duties on two occasions. Lawrence Peters applies some outlaw country grit to “The Old Black Hen,” but the words sound somewhat awkward coming from him and as a result the song doesn’t quite work. Much more successful is Scout Niblett on the rambling “Peoria Lunch Box Blues.” Sounding like a female Van Morrison, you can almost see her obsessively pacing back and forth as she sings. But despite all the input from others, the most interesting and compelling thing about this release (like any Songs: Ohia album) is Molina’s voice, which has grown beyond being simply an idiosyncratic instrument into a wonderfully expressive one as well. He uses it to stunning effect on “John Henry Split My Heart,” a classic B-side rocker in the tradition of “Cowgirl in the Sand” and “Free Bird,” and likewise on the relatively somber closer, “Hold on Magnolia,” which gets help from slide guitar, violin, and a swaying rhythm to create a beautifully bittersweet mood. Magnolia Electric Co. may not be the best Songs: Ohia album, but it is certainly the most approachable. It has a big, open feel certain to appeal to any classic rock fan, but retains the warm intimacy of previous albums. Not an easy line to walk. – Jason Nickey

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