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CD REVIEW: Jim Croce – “Facets”
By Stacey Board - 09/21/2004 - 09:07 PM EDT

Artist: Jim Croce
Album: “Facets”
CD Review: Yes. THAT Jim Croce. The amazingly talented gone way too soon Jim Croce. Facets is a treasure for all fans of this icon of singer/songwriters.

Facets is actually a two CD set. This first CD comes from recordings that were originally recorded as Croce’s first demo. It was financed by Jim’s parents as a way to help him get music out of his system. Well we all know that their tactic didn’t exactly work!

These songs are largely traditional folk songs with one original song by Croce, and some with musical arrangement by him. To my ear, there isn’t much discernable correlation between this material and the material he was to put out in his first fully original CD. You can hear foreshadowing of his rollicking bluesy style in “Hard Hearted Hannah”. But for the most part, this CD shows us the roots and influences of his future songwriting. To me it is particularly impressive to hear Croce in this context because the arrangements are so direct and simple. He’s really showing you what he’s got.

The second CD consists of recordings of Jim and his wife Ingrid. These songs are mostly co-written by the pair and have a traditional folk sound. Ingrid has a particularly lovely voice and the songs are all well-written. The two CD’s together are an enormous gift to Croce fans.

Obviously fans of Jim Croce will treasure this touching collection of early recordings. Facets is a wonderful snapshot in the career of a deeply talented artist. But also fans of folk music will enjoy this very vivid collection of this particular style. This CD is a must-have for Croce and folk music collectors.

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