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Thread: Paula Cole

  1. #31
    the unhappy worker waitressboy's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    Buenos Aires
    Oh, 1998, when you had to choose between Fiona Apple, Erykah Badu, Paula Cole and Hanson... Those were really good times. Nowadays you have to choose between Kelly Clarkson, Rihanna, Demi Lovato and Jonas Brothers (trying to make a comparison in styles and that).
    When he woke up, the dinosaur was still there.

  2. #32
    aging hipster trash The Seaward's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    Dallas/Fort Worthless
    kelly clarkson, demi lovato and the brothers jonas all grew up around here. this place must be some sort of breeding-ground for vapid popstars. (okay, not gonna lie: "since u been gone" is a roadtrip playlist staple.)
    I don't understand the question, and I won't respond to it.

  3. #33
    Senior Member Jake's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    West Hollywood, CA
    Clips of the entire album up on iTunes! Based on the 30 seconds alone, it's obviously a return to the Paula we all fell in love with in the 90s. Hard to tell how some of the songs will turn out, especially because I remember many being 5+ minutes. But her voice sounds fantastic and I can't wait to hear it in full!

  4. #34
    It is I, you son of a bitch. blissgurl's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    Mad City
    ^ Thanks for posting this! Yes, this sounds like the Paula that I love (Harbinger & This Fire)!! I can't wait for this to come out now. They have the Music In Me single for download, which I had to get, of course!

  5. #35
    watercolour stained howieD's Avatar
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    Jun 2010

    'Come On Inside' available for download.

    Chorus is a bit cheese, but voice sounds greeeeeeat. love the whistle notes toward the end.

    Last edited by howieD; 09-11-2010 at 07:10 AM. Reason: added youtube link.

  6. #36
    HUH! HUP! HYAAAAT! Joey's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    Corpus Christi, Texas USA

  7. #37
    Militia of the Mind toriMODE's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    Woo hoo!

  8. #38
    watercolour stained howieD's Avatar
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    Jun 2010

    Paula Cole, “Ithaca” (Decca).
    2 1/2 stars.

    Few rising stars had quite the fall that Paula Cole experienced and the fact that she’s still making music is pretty miraculous in itself.

    The Grammy-winning singer/songwriter, who shot to fame on the heels of the unforgettable 1997 single “Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?” had everything going right for her at that time.

    Then her next album, “Amen,” flopped bigtime. And Cole seemed to totally disappear.

    She didn’t of course. She had a baby. She studied yoga with a community of Seiks. She spent plenty of time reading Jungian psychology. She pondered a career in academia. In 2007 she returned to the scene with her first album in eight years, “Courage.” It fell somewhere between mediocrity and a promising comeback.

    Three years later, here’s Cole after getting through a difficult divorce and finding new love. The set is filled with what she calls “Polaroid snapshots of my life.” Some are quite captivating, like the Laura Nyro-echoes of “Waiting on a Miracle,” and the appropriately long and soulful “Sex.”
    Some are typically overwrought like “Music in Me,” “Something I’ve Gotta Say” and the goofy “P.R.E.N.U.P.”

    Cole is still a tremendous, multi-octave singer, though at this point it’s well worth questioning whether she’s ever going to consistently match the power of her voice with powerful material.

    Tracks to download: “Waiting on a Miracle” “Sex.”

    Rating Scale: One Star (poor) to Five Stars (a classic).

  9. #39
    strike every chord that you feel Owen's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    What an odd review! They only gave it a 50%, and I completely disagree with that last little jab. Sure the songs don't rip your face off like they did on This Fire, but this is a gorgeous record and she sounds as incredible as ever.

  10. #40
    Senior Member Nick's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    New York, NY
    Sadly I'm not far off from the review; I think it's a weirdly uneven album, with tracks that on their own sound like they could have fit in on one of her earlier albums, but don't seem to blend too well. But there are some great high points, most notably Elegy, which I think is up there with her all time best for sure.

  11. #41
    watercolour stained howieD's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    Elegy is indeed magnificent.

    Rodrigo (used to maintain the PaulaColeNetwork BBoard) just emailed me links to a TON of rare demo/live PC tracks. Inbox me with your email addy if you'd like me to forward it along.

    Some more articles:

    September 22, 2010
    Paula Cole's 'Ithaca' in Rockport

    By Gail McCarthy Staff Writer Staff Writer Wed Sep 22, 2010, 10:57 PM EDT

    Paula Cole, Rockport's Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter, pays homage to her hometown in her new album "Ithaca," which debuted Tuesday and will be launched in concert Friday night in Boston.

    As Ithaca was the beloved home of the Greek hero Odysseus who finally manages to return after more than a decade after the battle of Troy, Cole, now 42, has returned to her hometown invigorated by both her struggles and triumphs she has faced in her life's voyage so far.

    "It is the perfect metaphor to encapsulate my homecoming journey, using Homer's 'Odyssey' and I feel some connection to that, being out in the world, feeling beaten up and facing my past," she said. "Rockport, Massachusetts, is my Ithaca."

    "I have a newfound adult friendship with my parents — which is the silver lining of divorce —- and I'm coming back home to the town I left many years before," she said.

    She is holding her album celebration during the 10th annual Beantown Jazz Festival, hosted by her alma mater Berklee College of Music.

    Cole received a scholarship, graduating in 1990. She was offered her first record deal with a jazz label while a student at Berklee, but she turned it down.

    A few years later, in 1993, Peter Gabriel asked her to join his Secret World Tour, after her debut album titled "Harbinger." Her second album, "This Fire," was a breakthrough hit with her signature "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?" and "I Don't Want to Wait" — widely known as the theme song to the hit television series "Dawson's Creek."

    In 1997, her music was recognized at the highest level when she won the Grammy for Best New Artist, after which she released another album, 1999's "Amen." But then her path changed and she took a seven-year hiatus, though she fought back with her 2007 album "Courage," a trait she would need to power through her absence in the music world.

    "Eight years off is like a near-death experience in this business," said the singer, who had to heal some wounds like her equestrian counterpart. "You fight hard to be taken seriously again and to get another shot again. It's like being Seabiscuit."

    But her fans on the North Shore are welcoming her back with a fierce affection. She sold out two August shows at the new seaside $19 million Shalin Liu Performance Center in the heart of Rockport.

    And the fans not only included her high school classmates and school staff, but fans from throughout New England and as far away as Holland.

    Kaytee Bolcome, an Rockport High graduate many years after Cole, was thrilled at Cole's return and has been a longtime fan.

    "She's amazing," she said after the show. "I was so excited to be able to see her perform here."

    Cole's new release, "Ithaca," involves the singer's vicissitudes during her break from the public world of music.

    The second track, titled "Waiting on a Miracle," embodies some feelings about that journey.

    "I'm proud of the vocal arrangement on this song," she said. "It's about just being brave and truthful about what happened in my life. There was sadness and then separation and a resting time and feeling scared to trust again."

    "That's the dark, the doubt and the waiting," she said. "The album starts with songs written in the throws of divorce and moves through those years and relocating to Rockport. That's the light."

    "The later songs written in Rockport reflect that piece, the love coming back into my life."

    She describes her process of writing as her personal dialog with the subconscious in an autobiographical vein — much like her songwriting role models and favorites, John Lennon and Joni Mitchell.

    "I'm just another inept human struggling with my feelings and, in so doing, I make songs," said Cole. "They're Polaroid snapshots of my life."

    Currently, for the mother of an eight-year-old, she has found love — and is in love — again.

    "I feel very blessed," she said during a telephone interview this week from a New York City hotel as her album launch gets underway.

    Not only has she found love in her personal life, she found love from her fans.

    When she performed this summer at the two sold-out shows, the audience could not get enough of her.

    "I did feel overwhelmed by love and warmth," she said. "As I stood on the stage, I was comprised of various selves. I was a RHS student seeing my former classmates. I was a citizen of Rockport feeling proud that we made the performance center as part of the town's fabric and I felt nervous to be performing for my hometown because that's the hardest."

    "But I felt a very deep love for the people there, a sincere love," she added. "And that's usually what I feel when I step out onto stage, the love for the folks who spend their hard-earned dollars on music and magic and healing. I love the whole dance of the energy coming from them to me and me to them."

    Cole said it was important to her that the music on her new album is comprised of her songs.

    "I've got my groove back and I feel strong," said Cole who was co-producer on this album.

    There are other benefits to this next platform in Cole's career.

    "I can hear an evolution of my voice," she said. "If you treat your body well, the voice is meant to open and flower in the prime years of 35 to 55. I feel mine has gotten better.

    "As far as writing is concerned, sometimes the songs come like little lighting bolts, and you have this pregnant feeling and you have to give birth to this little song." she said. "At other times, it's driven by patience and nurturing an idea. I think I'm more attentive to lyrics.

    "We all need and look to music to process our feeling about life — life is hard. But in music — whether happy or angry — we go to this meeting point and share the music," she said.

    "I still have anger," she said. "I'm human. Ithaca still has some darkness. But I'm back. I let more slide off of me."

    "That's one nice thing about getting older," she added. "I know myself and I like myself more now. There is an inner calm."

    Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3445, or at

    An Evening with Paula Cole

    What: Paula Cole celebrates new album "Ithaca" at release concert

    Where: Berklee Performance Center at 136 Massachusetts Ave. in Boston as part of the BeanTown Jazz Festival

    When: Friday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m.


    Relighting this fire
    The Rockport singer-songwriter is back from a lengthy hiatus with a new CD, ‘Ithaca’

    Q. This feels like an album you couldn’t have made previously. You certainly didn’t have the experience to write a song like “P.R.E.N.U.P.’’ until now. It sounds like you went through a lot leading up to “Ithaca.’’

    A. I did, and I’m not the Pollyanna I used to be. Sometimes I’m sad about that because I feel like there’s something darker or more cynical in me that I’ve tried to resist.

    Q. But don’t you appreciate that kind of evolution in the artists you admire?

    A. I guess so. My favorite writers are the ones who are bloodcurdlingly autobiographical, like John Lennon or Joni Mitchell. If I feel like I’m trying to craft a song, I feel gross — I may as well go sell shoes. For me, it’s about living life and struggling and being so honest about that in the work.

    Q. You’ve talked about how taking a long hiatus, as you did for most of the past decade, is essentially career suicide in pop music. Did you ever imagine you’d find your way back to pop?

    A. When I had my daughter, I was living in Los Angeles and I was at a crossroads. I left Warner Bros. — or they dropped me, as they like to see it — and that’s when I contemplated going for my MBA, just to nourish my brain in other areas of interest. But I came to a spiritual realization that I’ve been given a gift for music, and by turning my back on it, it would be like atheism or something. I also think I’d be very unhappy. Now that I’m a little older and savvier, I think I could have done the MBA and still make music.

    Q. On your website you’re imploring fans to buy a physical copy of this new album. Do you think we experience music differently when we download it?

    A. I do. First of all, I don’t think the quality is that good. If you love an artist, and you make a commitment to buying something, there’s just nothing like holding it in your hands, reading through every thank-you note, and listening to the whole album at once. I want it to be a physical experience — sound waves hitting the body, feeling the texture of the paper.

    Q. You had such a meteoric rise in the 1990s. How does your early work resonate with you now?

    A. Sometimes I look back lovingly, but it’s mostly the interviews that make me cower with embarrassment. I reveal too much, and then I feel uncomfortable about it. When I look back on the young girl who wrote the songs on “Harbinger’’ [her 1994 debut], I have empathy for that. It’s just a time in my life. These are journal snapshots, Polaroid snapshots, and they’re all for everyone to see.

    Q. The song “Sex’’ is a real surprise on the new album, almost like a sequel to “Feelin’ Love’’ from 1996’s “This Fire.’’ It’s incredibly sensual — and eight minutes long.

    A. It has a touch of Donny Hathaway. It’s good for the world to hear a woman’s slow perspective on sex.

    Q. Is it safe to assume this is the first Paula Cole song to carry an explicit warning on iTunes?

    A. Is there an explicit warning? Back to the old Paula Cole!

    Interview was edited and condensed.


    Paula Cole's journey to 'Ithaca' brings her home
    Wednesday, 22 September 2010 08:53 Jerry DeMarco
    IN TUNE: It’s taken a lot for Paula Cole to be able to look over her shoulder at the audience and coyly sing: “You can do the laundry, while I go have a beer.” But the sold-out crowd at City Winery was as grateful for the reborn songstress’ strut as she was to share her new-found fearlessness with them.

    It truly was a release party in more ways than one. Hours before the show, the magnificent “Ithaca” was officially issued. I'll bet it's going to surprise a lot of people.

    “I circled this date on the calendar,” Cole told the crowd at the outset. “I love you, New York.”

    What has always distinguished Cole from other artists -- besides pipes that can literally leap octaves -- is the inseparable bond between her heart and her music. The closest comparison I can find is one of my own heroes, John Lennon, who wrote confessionals straight from the soul, with no filter, much as Cole does on “Ithaca.”

    Or Springsteen from his “Darkness…” days.

    “I might mess up because some of these we’ve never played before,” Cole told the City Winery audience. “Herbie Hancock says you should be in the zone. And that’s where you’re gonna make mistakes. And that’s OK.”

    Like anyone minded -- or even noticed.

    Just because perfection doesn’t exist, that doesn’t mean Cole -- still ravishing at 42 -- won’t pursue excellence every time she performs one of those raw, to-the-bone songs of hers, stripped down to just her soaring soprano and gentle piano, accompanied by guitar and drums.

    She herself acknowledged, in her own way, that the beauty of her work is in the contrasts -- soft shakes of the maracas giving way to a rising wail, light piano flourishes building to monumental cries of liberation.

    “Without the darkness, there is no light,” she said.

    And without a divorce that put her into a creative closet, she wouldn’t have produced the ready-for-widespread-play of “Music in Me,” “Something I’ve Got to Say," and the magnificent (yes) “Come On Inside," from only her fifth studio album.

    The split sent her back to Rockport, Mass., the hometown she ran from, not looking back, years ago.

    That’s what made it so easy for Cole to spice her riveting new songs with nods to a past that treated her more than somewhat well for a relatively unknown backup singer “discovered” by Peter Gabriel.

    With closure comes freedom -- and, in Cole’s case, an album that gathers not only some of her best songwriting ever but also her at-times awesome ability to deliver it.

    Getting personal, as she’ll often do, she sang lyrics unabashedly aimed at her ex: “Thank you for the laughter. Thank you for the tears. Thank you for my daughter….”

    She followed that with the heartbreaking “Happy Home,” a tune from years past that Cole said opened a rift between her and her mom that eventually was healed, allowing her to sing it again:

    “Sacrified her dreams to motherhood / Waiting and waiting to be fully understood / Sacrificed her years to family / Waiting and waiting to be heard finally.”

    Cole’s daughter, Sky, was with her grandmother Tuesday night as her mom plied her trade, belting with a Joplinesque passion (and I’m not talking about Scott), cradling other songs gently, and bopping around the stage like a single mom listening at home to a hot new CD.

    Tomorrow night, Cole truly goes home to play Boston’s Berklee College of Music. For all the beauty of the City Winery performance, that will be a night as emotional as the evening‘s encore performance of “Me,“ which left Cole -- and many in the audience -- wiping away tears.

    After all, she’ll be living the dream of “Ithaca,” named for the island that Odysseus finally came home to after a decade of fighting to get there.

    “I’m so blessed to have music,” Cole told the crowd, easing back from behind the piano to the front of the stage again, as the show built to a powerful close.

    She then unleashed a song that’s as powerful as any she’s ever written, “Comin’ Down,” from her 2007 album, “Courage.”

    It was “a cry for help from the subconscious,” she explained. “I was looking at the sheet of paper with the lyrics before I realized that I needed to get it out.”

    Then, from a place few ever visit within themselves, she sang: “Lord I’m mistaken in the choices I make / I made me a prison that should’ve been a man.“

    The lyrics bent her so far forward that Cole’s raven tresses nearly brushed those sitting up front, as she pulled out the pain and presented it as spoils of victory.

    Yes, she performed “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone” and “I Don’t Want to Wait.” Seven Grammy nominations for 1996’s “This Fire” pretty much make both songs mandatory, in a sense.

    But for the first time since they helped unleash her extraordinary gifts on popular culture, Paula Cole has other songs as worthy, if not more so, of attention. For the first time, those sweet songs from nearly 15 years gone are jukebox trinkets that, in contrast, throw light on the powerful new material.

    Before she left the City Winery stage with a soulful version of “Jolene,” Cole promised it won’t take another year for her to return. It’s a bet worth taking.

    That’s because Paula Cole is no longer standing at another precipice in life.

    At last, she has become the pearl.

    Music In Me - live on WendyWilliamsShow. (quality pretty poor)
    Last edited by howieD; 09-24-2010 at 02:58 AM. Reason: added youtube.

  12. #42
    Senior Member Andyland's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    Incorrectly assumed that there would be an opening act and missed half the show tonight

    The half that I did see though, was very good and included pretty much all the hits.

  13. #43
    Militia of the Mind toriMODE's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    I've been playing the cd a lot since I bought it on iTunes, and it's so great hearing her voice again.

  14. #44
    watercolour stained howieD's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    The bonus tracks are quite cool - "Second Chance" (Ithaca Amazon Bonus Track) & "Gypsy Road" (Ithaca Tour Edition Bonus Track)
    Haven't heard "Zinnias and Dahlias" (iTunes) yet.

    But what I am REALLY digging at the moment is "Singing Out My Life" - free download from Paula's website a few years back.
    It's from the 4th album sessions - produced by Hugh Padgham [peter gabriel, kate bush, phil collins...] that were vaulted by Warner Bros. If this song is any indication of the rest of the album.... GIMME.

  15. #45
    Militia of the Mind toriMODE's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    Zinnias and Dahlias is one of the best tracks on the itunes version of the album. I recommend it!

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