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Through the Trees

Rate It! Avg: 4.5 (73 ratings)
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Through the Trees album cover
01
Weightless Again
3:38
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02
My Sister's Tiny Hands
3:26
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03
Stalled
2:26
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04
Where The Birch Trees Lean
3:20
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05
Cathedrals
3:22
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06
Down In the Ground
2:43
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07
Giant of Illinois
3:03
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08
Down In The Valley Of Hollow Logs
3:29
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09
I Fell
4:14
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10
The Woman Downstairs
4:47
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11
Last Night I Went Out Walking
4:24
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12
Bury Me Here
2:47
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13
My Ghost
2:26
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Album Information

Total Tracks: 13   Total Length: 44:05

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Carrot Top

indiesoc

I'm excited to see a couple Handsome Family studio albums now on eMusic, and I'm hoping more will arrive soon. This one appears to be the most highly regarded HF album, and the songs here are truly great. However, as I wrote in my review of the Live at Schuba's album, some of the versions here are underwhelming due to uninspired singing from Brett. I haven't heard the complete HF discography, but my guess is that Brett "found his voice" not long after this album was made.

user avatar

Short stories

mdc

Such fantastic stories in these songs: creepy, tragic, surprising, funny, poetic and beautifully detailed. This is not my favorite HF album, but it does the job. Tracks 1, 2, 5, 7, 11 and 13 are the winners here.

They Say All Music Guide

Through the Trees was the Handsome Family’s breakthrough album, garnering enough attention and sales that they were finally able to quit their day jobs and focus on music full-time. The group subsequently toured the U.S. and Europe, while critics on both sides of the Atlantic went nuts for the Sparks’ clever, brooding songs. With Through the Trees, the transitional phase heard on Milk and Scissors was complete and the duo emerged with a more defined style, delivery, and songcraft which became their trademark sound. Brett sings with a deeper resonance and phrases Rennie’s mini-stories more skillfully, while the occasional distorted guitar and harder-rocking tunes have been trimmed away, leaving a more consistent, stripped-down country feel. This album includes Rennie’s vocal debut (albeit in a self-conscious, exaggerated nasal twang) on “Down in the Ground”; “Cathedrals,” a song originally heard on their limited-edition vinyl EP Invisible Hands (Carrot Top, 1997); and enduring crowd favorites “The Woman Downstairs” and “Weightless Again.” It also includes guest Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. While the albums that followed were excellent, Through the Trees remains the Handsome Family’s definitive album, and is a wonderful encapsulation of the myths and heartbroken tales that populate the dark, romantic world of Brett and Rennie Sparks. – Joslyn Layne

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