Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Shelter

The Lovely Loopy sent me a couple of CDs a few months back and I thought it was time I did a little musical rundown of what she sent me. Right now I'm listening to the Mellow Mix. She very sweetly put Jack Johnson on both CDs (the other is a Happy Mix), as I had mentioned at some point that I had no clue who he was.

First song is Traffic in the Sky by Jack Johnson and I have to say that I quite liked it and flowed quite well into the next song which was Second Skin by the Chameleons UK (who wrote one of my favorite dancing songs, Swamp Thing). The review of Second Skin (linked above) makes me want to break out my only Teardrop Explodes CD and see if I can understand what they're saying. Wonder if Script from the Bridge is still available on CD.

Second Skin isn't as much a dancing song, but I quite like it, and I'm sure I could end up dancing to it at some point. For the record, danceability is mostly how I judge a song. Kind of like Dance Fever judges, if it has a good beat and I can dance to it, it's all good. I should confess though that I can dance to things that would make most people say, "Huh?" Anybody who gets my CDs will probably do that a few dozen times. What can I say? I'm weird. And songs that most people go bonkers for at weddings and whatnot leave me standing there saying, "How the hell am I supposed to dance to this?" Word of warning! ;-)

The Chameleons song is over 7 minutes long, and that's all good in my book. When GtG and I were working on my mixed CDs, he would just shake his head at me as I would almost inevitably have picked the longest song (or very close to the longest song) of every CD.

Ah, finally, track 3. Let Me Touch You For Awhile by Allison Krauss – It starts out very prettily with what I think are fairly gentle guitar chords. She has a pretty voice and at times reminds me of Tori Amos (one of my favorites). One of those female singers that makes me ask the question "Why isn't she bigger? Yet another female with a better voice than Sheryl Crow." (I'll stop now as that little tidbit will put me over the edge as I can't stand Sheryl Crow.) Allison has a country tinge at some points, but it's working for me.

The Indigo Girls followed Ms. Krauss and it made me realise that I probably need to pick up an Indigo Girls CD. The song Loopy included was Mystery which I don’t think I had heard before, but it was quite nice and again went very well with the previous song.

Everything But The Girl. This makes me think I should have included a Dead Can Dance song on my CDs – yeah, I know the only thing they have in common is that the core is one man/one woman, but it works for me. Anyway, Mirrorball, the title of the song, makes me think of that damn Steve Miller Band song, Abracadabra (if you've ever seen the video, you'll understand), but thankfully sounds nothing like it! Sorry, Smed. I know you love SMB, but I just don't share that feeling.

Ooooh, loving the next song, Monday Morning 5.19 by Rialto. Rialto sounds like an 80s band that I somehow missed. I could definitely dance to this song!

I've never heard of this next band, Guster, but I have to say that Loopy did a fine job. I'm liking the song, Fa Fa, thankfully they don't sing Fa Fa Fa Fa too much, although I think they could have chosen the second half of the refrain "Never Be The Same Again" as the title instead. If I had any sort of musical training, I could say something about the bass vs the guitar, etc., but I don't, so the extent of my criticism is pretty much, "I liked it." "I could live w/o ever hearing this song again." "I can dance to this." Or the highest compliment ever, "I MUST dance." In this case – I liked it.

Somehow Loopy found a Tori song that I don't have which means I'm missing a CD. Must do some investigating. Hmmmm, I thought I had this CD. Song #8 is Purple People by Tori Amos. It has everything for which a Tori song is famous – off-kilter lyrics, her fabulous voice and beautiful music with her piano playing.

Gov't Mule follows Tori with their song Beautifully Broken. I had never heard of Gov't Mule until 3 or so years ago when they were playing at the Majestic (where Harry Houdini performed his last show) and the line was a mile long. YS and I were going to see The Proclaimers at The Magic Stick. I'm thinking this song might not be indicative of their sound, in general, just judging from the crowd that night, but I think that I might like their non-mellow stuff (assuming here, obviously). Not a song that would make me run for the dance floor, but it does make me tap my foot. Some interesting guitar work, and it didn't feel like a 6 minute song.

Liking the guy's voice on the next song (Luna's Moon Palace) and although I don't see it making me race for the dance floor, I can see me staying out there if it came on.

"Gorgeously melancholic" is how AMG All Music Guide described the next song, and I have to say that it fits. The song is Deathly by Aimee Mann (lead singer of Til Tuesday). The review of the first record it was on, Magnolia (a soundtrack apparently for a movie of the same name), makes me want to pick the album up. I'm too much of a Joy Division fan not to enjoy a melancholic song.

Song #12 is by Maroon 5, a band I've heard of, but couldn't name a song if you paid me $1million. Oh, the song is She Will Be Loved. This song does nothing for me. I don't hate it, but I don't see me calling up my favorite CD store and asking them to save me a copy. The more it goes on, the more it's growing on me, but I still don't see me picking it up, although I'm sure at some point I'll end up singing along after I've listened to it enough.

Melissa Etheridge is one of those female singers who I think deserve Grammys over Ms. Nasally Singing Crow. What a fabulous voice she has! The Letting Go is the song Loopy chose and I have to say What a good choice! I have two Melissa CDs, but not the one this song is on. I might have to contemplate it.

Next up is Ray Lamontagne and his song Shelter. I had never heard of him before and since according to the All Music Guide he only has one album out in 2004, I wonder how Loopy found him. AMG also compared him to a slightly huskier (singing voice) Tim Buckley. I'd say that's not damning with faint praise. I'm intrigued by this one.

Ah, Tracy Chapman. Another female singing who gets the short shrift in my opinion. Love her voice. Loopy picked At This Point In My Life from New Beginning, a CD I have. I haven't listened in a while, so this will be a good kick in the pants to break it out.

Next up, R.E.M. with Find The River from Automatic for the People. I used to be a HUGE R.E.M. fan, but I've gotten away from them over the past ten years or so. I started losing my love of them with Out of Time, but I did like Automatic for the People and this song is a good representation, I think. I have Monster and Adventures in Hi-Fi, but never loved them like I loved their early stuff, so haven't invested in their newer records.

Last song is by Radiohead from their OK Computer CD. Massive confession time: I just can't get into this band. I've tried a number of times and I just can't do it. My friend AS when he still lived here in MI would lend me CDs from different bands and generally, I loved them so much I would go out and buy my own copies (See Jeff Buckley, Nick Drake and The Dears), but this is one band and one CD that did not suck me in. I think the problem is the lead singer's voice. It's like fingernails on a chalkboard for me.

One of the things I liked best about this CD is that for the most part Loopy didn't pick the "hits" by the artist, but something else to show more of the depth of each artist. I found myself doing the same thing when picking the songs for my CDs as I figure why pick the hit as most people will know that song. Give them something else that might induce them to pick up the CD for themselves.

The Happy Mix CD will be analysed at a later date. All that linking has tired me out! Time for a nap!

5 Comments:

At Wednesday, 24 May, 2006, Anonymous Smed said...

I don't like Abracadabra, though! That's piffle.

 
At Wednesday, 24 May, 2006, Blogger Kathleen said...

Smed - Whew!

 
At Wednesday, 24 May, 2006, Anonymous Clarity said...

That sounds like a great CD mix. (loopy has excellent taste) I enjoyed reading your impressions of different songs. Right now I love Jack Johnson. I just discovered him myself only 6 or 7 months ago. I'm addicted to his most recent album, he just has the most soothing voice.

Thanks for your caring notes and advice, Kathleen. That means a lot. I hope you're having a good day!

 
At Wednesday, 24 May, 2006, Blogger Jason said...

I have "Script of the Bridge" on vinyl and CD. I can burn it for you if you like. I'm sure that Davo has a copy too.

 
At Friday, 26 May, 2006, Blogger Kathleen said...

Clarity - I hope you say that about my CDs once you get them. ;-)

Jason - I should have known!!! I might just ask for a copy, if it's not available.

 

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