Keeping my promise of writing more about Tori Amos, my Muse, here I am today with what is perhaps my favorite album of hers: from the choirgirl hotel, a 1998 release. I still vividly remember putting it for the first time on my CD player at close to maximum volume and let its many wonders enrapture me like very few have done since.
Musically, it was a quantum leap for Tori, what with her previous album - Boys for Pele - being an almost exclusively acoustic affair, complete with harpsichords and all. This time around, Tori decided to brew a very special kind of aural magic, lending her classical piano to the drum beat and the electronica sounds. The end result still sounds today as fresh as it came out and as adventurous. Her voice was also able to reach such emotional highs that it drove me to tears in the simple space of a chord change. I clearly remember feeling dizzy for days with the whole experience and this is something that has only happened to me once. What a gift, then. My humble thanks go over to you right now, Ms Amos.
I know, I know, I'm always late to the game. But I've explained here before - I find it much more exciting to (re)discover these new artists just as their hype is going down and I'm therefore able to appreciate and enjoy them in a much more personal way.
I have to say that the title of this album is more than appropriate - Lungs - because this girl has some serious pipes to her credit. It's almost like she's channelling some sort of multitude of angry voices that come out of her throat all at once and the feeling throughout the album is one of exhilaration and urgency. The album is not without its faults, though, with some songs sounding much like each other and there is a variety of singing styles sorely lacking. But I guess all can be forgiven when the end result is as addicting as this.
I'm going to leave you with one of favorite tracks: Rabbit Heart (Raise it up). See you all soon.
He burned as brightly and as quickly as a match, his legacy is forever and ever like all good mavericks' works tend to be. And lately one of his songs keeps playing in my head over and over, almost like it's trying to telling me something. The thing is, I know what it is.
António Variações is currently a legend in his and my home country, Portugal. He only made two albums to his name and some TV showings and just as he was ready to embrace a much wider reach, he died. Such are the lives of mercurial talents. His works keep on being rediscovered by generation after generation and rightly so, because he was able to tap into what makes us portuguese and infuse it with a modern feel, almost like giving us a new fresh look at what we can be.
The song I referred to is called Estou Além [I'm up ahead] and for me it reflects quite perfectly that very state of an artist/person constantly unsatisfied with his/her position in the world and always on the search for something more, something other than this. How do I understand him.
Another proof on how to not fall prey to the dreaded sophomore album curse. Laura Marling says she speaks because she can and we believe her all the way. This, her next after her brilliant debut, proves once and for all that she is here to stay and furthermore that she has made an album for the ages.
It's quite incredible the songwriting maturity she displays in each and every song of this follow-up, with a noticeable improvement both on the lyrics and arrangements department. It's a self-assured artist we hear now and the pathos invested in some of the songs give it gravitas and resonance in a way seldom heard. And if you think I'm going loco with the superlatives, just pick up a copy of this album and give it a try. You'd be hard pressed not to concur with me.
Listen to Darkness Descends, a quite up-beat song albeit its misleading title.
It's been a long time since I've listened to this album and I always get a kick out of it. It's one of the most infectious retro-pop albums I've heard and it still manages to hit some high notes on the pop barometer.
Written and produced by Paradis' then beau Lenny Kravitz, this is a collection of songs that recall a whole period of time that's very much loved around these parts. Not quite recapturing the pop magnificence of the albums Gainsbourg made with Bardot and Birkin, it's still a nice try and quite a good entry in that particular musical cannon. Paradis sings it all the way through in that Lolita voice that she made all her own and it fits the festivities to a T. In short, I love it.
Listen to the hit single Be My Baby and fall in love all over again.