In the spirit of the books and movies threads, here's one to talk about what you're listening to lately and what you have discovered. Tell us if you like it, what it reminds you of, anything you like, short or not, simple or not.
Like the books thread, I'd ask that we keep it mostly to stuff we are listening to or going to listen to soon, or have just
finished listening to (that is, like a log more than a resume).
Below is my first entry.
Bonnie Raitt, by Bonnie Raitt.
My understanding is that this was her first record, which she made when she was 21. Nine out of the eleven songs are covers; the two she wrote are "Thank You" and "Finest Loving Man," and both are good.
I really liked this album. Bonnie's voice is much sweeter here than I've heard her before, and very warm, traveling between notes more fluently, and not yet as raspy sounding as it became. (Which I also like in its own way.) Despite the sweetness of her voice she manages to put some heart into the bluesy material, and sings with what sounds like a real love for the lyrics. It's great to hear someone who doesn't just walk through lyrics. She sounds like she really thought and felt her way through the songs. Many of the most gifted and popular singers out there don't, winding up leaving a lot of a song's power still on the table, so to speak.*
From an Amazon.com review:
Bonnie wrote two of the songs here (Thank you, Finest loving man) but relied mainly on covers, beginning with a cover of Bluebird (written by Stephen Stills, famous as a member first of Buffalo Springfield then of Crosby Stills and Nash). One of Bonnie's major influences, Sippie Wallace, is represented by two songs (Mighty tight woman, Women be wise) while Bonnie also covers Any day woman (Paul Siebel), Walking blues (Robert Johnson) and Since I fell for you (Bud Johnson) among others.
I really enjoyed Walking Blues a lot and wanted to hear it immediately again, but decided to let the rest of the album play out instead of interrupting its flow. The album is good enough that I think I'm going to listen to it again.
By the way, it's in the Rhapsody's catalogue, if you have that service. It's also at Amazon, and the MP3 256kbps download
is on sale there for $2.99. You can listen to samples there too.
*This reminds me of a biography of John Denver that I saw on PBS the other day. I'm not a big Denver fan, but the biography was so good that this is the second time I felt compelled to watch it. Anyway, in it his manager said that at a particular concert Denver sounded exceptionally good, and it seemed like the audience noticed it. His manager recalls saying something like, "Your voice was incredible today. How did you do it?" Denver replied that he was trying to do what he learned from Placido Domingo when they worked together. He said he was amazed by how deep Domingo's art was; he didn't just sing a line, but put the right emotion into it word by word. If he was going to sing about a piece of steel, his voice would sound like steel. Every line was emotionally full, clear, and precise.
I got a bit of a feeling of that in this Raitt album. Raitt very much inhabited those songs when she sang. Unlike some spoiled divas, the newly emergent Raitt got across the feeling that she was glad to be there.