Joanna Newsom is one of those artists that people get evangelical about. I have tried in the past to get enthusiastic about her, and perhaps it was just the wrong timing when she released her album Ys to wide critical acclaim. There was something just a bit pretentious about the idea of a modern/medieval harp/pop crossover artist who, if we're being honest, sounded a bit like a cat when she sang. I can put it in those flippant terms now, not because I have dismissed her for good but because, with the release of her latest 3 CD album, I have, in a sense, been converted. Newsom is a unique artist and the two hours of music that make up Have One On Me are filled with treasures and moments of magic.
With such a lot to listen to there are strengths in every area you might hope to look. If it's catchy tunes you're after then you can find them on California, Good Intentions Paving Co. and even during the medieval formalism of '81. If it's exotic instrumentation you like then the Eastern ending to Baby Birch should do it for you. Multi-faceted structure is there in spades on the title track and simple yearning on No Provenance. And that's just the six tracks that make up the first disc. There's no filler here. Admittedly some tracks work better than others and it's unlikely that you'd have the time or patience to put all three on in the same evening but sustained listening has helped to highlight different themes and motifs that differentiate the discs and with such a consistently high quality throughout it makes it one of the best value-for-money purchases you could expect to make all year.