Barbara Hall | Bad Man

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Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock Rock: Acoustic Moods: Solo Female Artist
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Bad Man

by Barbara Hall

A uniquely personal collection of smart adult-oriented rock from the singer/songwriter also known as the creator of TV's Judging Amy and Joan of Arcadia, with expert production from Peter Himmelman.
Genre: Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Bad Man
3:46 $0.99
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2. Criminal Times
3:54 $0.99
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3. Last Love Song
2:19 $0.99
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4. Little Old Soul
3:08 $0.99
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5. Marry Me
2:22 $0.99
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6. Your Place or Mine
3:01 $0.99
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7. Mystery
1:55 $0.99
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8. Not the One
2:26 $0.99
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9. Waiting
3:10 $0.99
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10. Thunder Road
2:46 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
"For 10 songs this brimming with intensity, the making of this record was implausibly pain free. It was easy and you can do it too — just like we did: in two nights of recording and a couple overdubs. Easy yes, but first you'll need to find an artist like Barbara Hall, a fantastic singer, a writer who knows the magic of what makes songs connective and a hawk-eyed observer of both the foibles and triumphs of the human spirit. On secong thought, that might be hard."

Peter Himmelman
Santa Monica, Spring '03

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Reviews


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Craig Spivek

Thank God Rolling Stone is a bunch of gutless pussies....
A couple of weeks back I was working the Audio/Video booth at a Chinese Film conference being held at the Convention Center. Man was it dull. The guy on stage was on his 20th minute, screaming loudly in Mandarin and broken English about how thrilled the Chinese government was to be working with American studios.
"The Chairman would be 'ever so pleased' that the Dreamworks is the build giant facility happy in Shanghai? LET THE PEOPLE REJOICE!...NOW!!!! " That last part sounded more like an order. I swear he looked up for a moment like he was holding for applause.
To smash through the boredom and propaganda I grabbed a magazine put out by The Producer's Guild. It was laying there on one of the Vendors booths. Unattached. It looked so lonely. So, I kind of swiped it. I started reading an article on Barbara Hall as the speaker kept yelling about how wonderful the entertainment is in China.
I didn't know anything about Hall. Apparently she's huge in Television, which is cool. I've never seen any of her shows but she seemed interesting. In the article she segue-wayed into talking about her music which I thought was interesting. Usually the person being profiled in these types of magazines is all about promoting whatever they got, but she started talking about how music was her first love, and how it kept her going. This is a woman with several huge shows under her belt including the currently airing, "Madame Secretary."
"Why the hell was she bringing up her music? " I thought. "Shouldn't she be talking about how awesome Tea Leone is or something? Isn't that how it works?" I realized she was kind of hi-jacking the interview to promote her album. I mean why wouldn't she? This was clearly the only magazine willing to help her promote. Rolling Stone is a bunch of gutless pussies. They weren't going to come a'callin'. No way would they profile her unless someone else did it first. So she has to do what she's got to do, which I thought was kind of ballsy. Shameless, perhaps, but not if the music's good. So, I insisted on investigating. I checked out the single, the title track, "Bad Man." and surprisingly, I liked it. Usually when actors or filmmaker types try to cross-pollinate into the realm of music it can be disastrous. (Billy Bob Thornton, Jamie Foxx, that unreleased Liberace-esque, ill-fated, "Soderbergh Sings Sondheim" record.)
The song made me feel like a bad man. Loved...but bad... you know?
So, I bought the record. I think it's great. It's great because at the heart and soul are well written songs. If a song is well written nothing else matters. So many artists tend to substitute cleverness or shtick to make up for a lacking in talent. Hall demonstrates perfectly that you don't have to be loud, crude, or dumb to succeed. Just majorly talented which clearly, she is. Her songs are simple, to the core, and brimming with melody, voice and spirit. If you listen to this record you'll realize how cheated we all are. You'll realize how much over-produced crap there is out there. You'll say to yourself, "Geez! What the hell was I thinking? Good music is so simple!"
She seems to combine honest, sweet, easy Liz Phair/Natalie Merchant type hooks backed up by a strong Lucinda Williams-esque rhythm section all guided by solid Peter Himmelman production. Songs about love, loss, and all the rest. Some songs are stronger than others but it all seems to snap into place.
It's kind of mind-boggling to think how easy she makes it all look. This is a well-crafted, easy, fun, melody-driven tune-fest. It was a joy to discover. I understand she's already achieved more success in show business than most of us could ever dream of but Barbara Hall's "Bad Man" should be recognized as a damn catchy record from a very under-rated and underexposed songwriter. Songwriting is one of the most difficult disciplines to have any type of command over. To me, it's second only to joke telling, but that's me. To be able to write a good song shows to the world exactly how talented a person really is. In Barbara Hall's case, I would in fact point to her songwriting abilities should any doubts in her talent occur.
I am so grateful that I was working a crappy conference that was so boring it forced me to explore new reading materials and as a result, new musical worlds, but it made me realize sometimes you gotta work outside your comfort zone. For someone like Barbara Hall to put out a record it clearly is a step out of the ordinary in terms of her everyday life. But by listening to "Bad Man" you can get a good idea of how important it is to step out of your comfort zone every once in a while, and do what calls to you. I'm in.
C.S.

Bad Man - Barbara Hall - Self Released - Available on cdbaby.com
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