(a)spera

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(a)spera
A(spera) Cover Art.jpg
Studio album by Mirah
Released March 10, 2009
Genre Indie rock, Indie pop, Chamber pop
Label K
Mirah chronology
The Old Days Feeling
(2008)The Old Days Feeling2008
a(spera)
(2009)
Thao + Mirah
(2011)Thao + Mirah2011

(a)spera is the fourth studio album from Portland, Oregon singer-songwriter Mirah, released on March 10, 2009.[1] Produced by Phil Elverum, it met with a largely positive reception from music critics. According to PopMatters about the album, "The musical marriage of Mirah and Elvrum is one of those rare perfect meeting of the minds—Jay-Z and Kanye, Butch Vig and Kurt Cobain, Phil Spector and… basically anyone who can sing.[2]

Production, release[edit]

(a)spera was the first album after a four-year hiatus by Mirah, after time spent working on collaborations and remixes of previous albums.[3] Phil Elverum produced and engineered the album, as with many of her previous releases. It was released on March 10, 2009, on Olympia label K Records.[1]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[4]
Dusted (positive)[5]
Pitchfork Media (7.8/10)[6]
PopMatters (8/10)[2]
Spin 3.5/5 stars[7]

The track received positive reviews, including 4/5 stars from Allmusic,[4] a positive review in Dusted Magazine,[5] 7.8/10 by Pitchfork Media,[6] 8/10 by PopMatters,[2] and 3.5/5 stars from Spin.[7]

According to PopMatters, "The musical marriage of Mirah and Elvrum is one of those rare perfect meeting of the minds—Jay-Z and Kanye, Butch Vig and Kurt Cobain, Phil Spector and… basically anyone who can sing. One could easily imagine Mirah being just another songwriter, singing turgid ballads about loneliness over an acoustic guitar (and indeed there is the occasional disturbing flash of this in her work), but through the intelligent production of Elvrum, and indeed, some of the other producers on (a)spera, she is able to set her thoughts upon soaring mountains of musical genius."[2]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Mirah, except where noted.

No. Title Length
1. "Generosity" 3:43
2. "The World Is Falling" 5:00
3. "Education" 5:18
4. "Shells" (Kane Mathis, Mirah) 2:31
5. "Country of the Future" 3:34
6. "The Forest" 3:29
7. "Gone Are the Days" 3:40
8. "The River" 7:49
9. "Bones & Skin" 3:11
10. "While We Have the Sun" (originally recorded in 2003; new version) 4:40

Personnel[edit]

Songwriting, etc.
  • Mirah - vocals, songwriting, etc.
  • Christopher Doulgeris – Bass, Guitar, Piano, Vocals, Producer, Organ (Pump), Horn Arrangements, String Arrangements
Production
  • Phil Elverum – Producer, Engineer, Guitar, Piano, Cymbals, Organ (Hammond),
  • Bryce Panic – Producer, Percussion, Bongos, Drums, Vocals, Kalimba, Bells, Claves, Vibraphone, Hi Hat
  • Tucker Martine – Producer, Engineer, Mixing
  • Kane Mathis – Producer, Kora
  • Adam Selzer – Producer, Engineer, Mixing
  • Barry Corliss – Mastering
  • Liz Haley – Photography, Cover Collage
Instrumentals
  • Jef Brown – Sax (Baritone), Sax (Tenor)
  • Chris Funk – Dobro, Mandolin, Celeste, Hurdygurdy, Dulcimer (Hammer)
  • Lori Goldston – Cello
  • Cory Gray – Trumpet
  • Radio Sloan – Guitar
  • Doug Jenkins – Cello
  • Robert Andrew Jones – Double Bass
  • Emily Kingan – Caixa
  • Justin Mackovich – Violin
  • Lisa Molinaro – Viola
  • Cynthia Nelson – Flute
  • Tara Jane O'Neil – Bass, Guitar, Guitar (Bass)
  • Toussaint Perrault – Trombone, Trumpet, Tuba
  • Mehmet "Memo" Vurkaç – Caixa, Pandeiro, Repique, Surdo

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "K Records Press Release". Retrieved January 6, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d Chafin, C.L. (9 March 2009). "Mirah: (a)spera". PopMatters. Retrieved 2014-04-22. 
  3. ^ "Mirah Will Finally Let Us Know What A Four-Year Album Sounds Like". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved January 6, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b Phares, Heather (March 10, 2009). "(A)spera Review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-04-22. 
  5. ^ a b Kelly, Jennifer (Feb 26, 2009). "(A)spera". Dusted Magazine. Retrieved 2014-04-22. 
  6. ^ a b Clarke, Mia (March 10, 2009). "(a)spera". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2014-04-22. 
  7. ^ a b Thomas, Lindsey (February 19, 2009). "(A)spera". Spin. Retrieved 2014-04-22. 

External links[edit]