Songs from The Gypsy

Songs From the Gypsy
Boiled in Lead - Songs From the Gypsy.jpg
Studio album by
Released 1995
Genre Celtic rock/Celtic punk, folk punk, gypsy punk
Label Omnium Records
Producer Adam Stemple
Boiled in Lead chronology
Antler Dance
Songs From the Gypsy
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[1]
Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music 3/4 stars[2]
MusicHound Folk 2/5 stars[3]
Boston Phoenix 3/4 stars[4]
Green Man Review (positive)[5]
National Public Radio (positive)[6]

Songs From the Gypsy is the sixth album by Minneapolis Celtic rock band Boiled in Lead, and its second with lead singer/guitarist Adam Stemple. It is a song cycle based on a Hungarian folk tale,[6] written largely by Stemple and his Cats Laughing bandmate Steven Brust several years prior to Boiled in Lead's recording.[7] Brust, who is best known as a fantasy novelist, collaborated with writer Megan Lindholm on a novel, The Gypsy, based on the songs. Boiled in Lead's album is considered the soundtrack to the novel.[8] Brust had previously co-written two songs on Boiled in Lead's 1994 album Antler Dance, and had released a 1993 solo album, A Rose for Iconoclastes.

Songs From the Gypsy was released on CD in an enhanced multimedia format including both Boiled in Lead's music and the full text of Brust and Lindholm's novel, as well as 80 short sound clips of songs referenced in the novel's text.[9][10]

Musically, the album leaned more towards rock and blues than the worldbeat and folk Boiled in Lead had become known for.[11] Bassist Drew Miller called the change in sound a temporary one related to the album's unusual genesis, since the songs had been written six years earlier, before Stemple had joined Boiled in Lead. "The Gypsy album "doesn't exactly represent us as we are now. It was a side project, actually. It's not indicative of the way the band is going," said Miller.[7]

Critical reception

Critical reception to the album was mixed. AllMusic reviewer Steven McDonald called Songs from The Gypsy "an example of Brust's serious songwriting working well,",[12] while Tim Walters of MusicHound Folk was critical, saying that while the band "performs admirably, Stemple writing isn't strong enough to pull off this song cycle."[3] The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music thought that the album confirmed Boiled in Lead's "willful lack of concern with commercial success" by moving away from the New Wave and folk influences heard on previous albums, which had attracted critical praise, in favor of a more acoustic sound.[2] Green Man Review writer Robert M. Tilendis called the album "an absolute gem," praising its "strong narrative component."[5] National Public Radio's Anne Williams was positive, saying that the album "maintains Boiled in Lead as one of the most innovative world beat bands today."[6]

A critical review by AllMusic's Roch Parisien praised Brust's "engrossingly poetic, impressionist story" but called the album's technical aspect "a failure of multimedia integration," in that the novel's 17 chapters were presented as "scrollable text only, which also intersperse some 80 song lyric excerpts that you can play from hot buttons. Annoyingly, you must flip back to a main menu index to move from one chapter to the next."[1] The review, written in 1995, predated a wave of popular e-book readers that began to emerge about ten years later.

Track listing


  1. ^ a b Parisien, Roch. "Boiled in Lead: Songs From the Gypsy" at AllMusic. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  2. ^ a b Larkin, Colin, ed. (1995). "Boiled in Lead". The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music. 5. Middlesex, England: Guinness Publishing. pp. 727–728.
  3. ^ a b Walters, Neal; Mansfield, Brian; Walters, Tim (1998). MusicHound Folk: The Essential Album Guide. Visible Ink Press. p. 75. ISBN 1-57859-037-X.
  4. ^ Reesman, Bryan (10 November 1995), "Boiled in Lead: Songs From The Gypsy (Omnium)", Boston Phoenix, retrieved 23 April 2015
  5. ^ a b Tilendis, Robert M. (17 January 2011). "Boiled in Lead, Songs from The Gypsy (Omnium, 1995)". Green Man Review. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
  6. ^ a b c Anne Williams (29 January 1996). "Boiled in Lead: Songs From The Gypsy". All Things Considered. National Public Radio.
  7. ^ a b Herman, Lew (9 August 1995). "Boiled in Lead Brews Strange Musical Stew". Charlotte Break (North Carolina).
  8. ^ Charles Vess (7 March 2006). The Book of Ballads. Tom Doherty Associates. pp. 183–190. ISBN 978-0-7653-1215-0.
  9. ^ Olson, Chris (February 3, 2003). "Interview: Steven Brust". Strange Horizons. Retrieved December 29, 2012.
  10. ^ Covert, Colin (10 July 1995). "Is It a Book? Is It Computer Software? Is It a Music CD? Yes". Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune.
  11. ^ Lipsig, Chuck (17 January 2011). "Boiled in Lead: The Not Quite Complete Recordings". Green Man Review. Archived from the original on 21 January 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  12. ^ McDonald, Steven. A Rose for Iconoclastes review at AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-04-02.

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