Life on a String (album)

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Life on a String
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 21, 2001
Experimental music
Pop music
LabelNonesuch/Elektra Records
ProducerLaurie Anderson
Hal Willner
Laurie Anderson chronology
Talk Normal: The Laurie Anderson Anthology
Life on a String
Live in New York
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic2.5/5 stars link
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars link

Life on a String is the seventh studio album by performance artist Laurie Anderson, released in 2001 on Nonesuch Records.

One of Anderson's predominantly musical (as opposed to spoken-word) albums, Life on a String was recorded at the Lobby Studios in New York City under the musical direction of Skúli Sverrisson, and produced by Anderson and Hal Willner. Guest musicians on the album include Van Dyke Parks, Mocean Worker, Mitchell Froom and Lou Reed.

The first three songs, "One White Whale," "The Island Where I Come From," and "Pieces and Parts," were taken from her show Songs and Stories from Moby Dick; the song "Slip Away" is about the death of her father.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks composed by Laurie Anderson, except where indicated

  1. "One White Whale" – 1:58
  2. "The Island Where I Come From" – 4:08
  3. "Pieces and Parts" – 3:36
  4. "Here with You" – 2:22
  5. "Slip Away" – 5:50
  6. "My Compensation" – 2:28 (Anderson, Skúli Sverrisson)
  7. "Dark Angel" – 3:22
  8. "Broken" – 3:19
  9. "Washington Street" – 4:41
  10. "Statue of Liberty" – 4:24
  11. "One Beautiful Evening" – 5:05
  12. "Life on a String" – 2:57


  • Produced by Laurie Anderson and Hal Willner
  • Recorded by Martin Brumbach at The Lobby, New York City
  • Additional engineers – Bob Brockmann, Dante DeSole, Josiah Gluck, Laurie Anderson
  • Mixed by Bob Brockman at NuMedia, New York City, except 2 and 10 by Martin Brumbach
  • Mastered by Robert C. Ludwig at Gateway Mastering Studios (Portland, ME, USA)
  • Executive producer – David Bither
  • Artwork – Barbara De Wilde
  • Photography by Victor Schrager
  • Cover photography – Noah Greenberg