42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Sharleen Spiteri's Guilty Pleasures.....,
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This review is from: Melody (Audio CD)I've loved the band Texas' music for almost a decade and I've been eagerly anticipating Sharleen's solo CD since word came out about it. "Melody" really is the key word here - and that is a good thing. There are real instruments playing real melodies, and that seems to be considered something of a "guilty pleasure" in the context of today's popular music.
There are great songs like the first single "All the Times I Cried", the uptempo sunshine pop of "Don't Keep Me Waiting", the temepered Ray Charles beat of "It Was You", and the wonderfully tounge-in-cheek rockabilly of "I'm Gonna Haunt You." Even though the songs are mostly inspired by Sharleen's split up with the father of her five-year-old daughter, listening to the CD will not bring you down - quite the opposite.
As already alluded to, there is a definite retro 1960s-70s sound to the songs and arrangements. In the context of Texas' last few albums, that should not be a surprise. The album does border on being a bit over-produced at times, but then that was true about a lot of the most beloved popular music back then.
I am amazed at the choice of specific musical references and riffs used here and finding the specific songs of that era that they come from. On "I Wonder", Sharleen lifts the melody and line "every chance you get you seem to hurt me more and more, but each hurt makes my mind (love) stronger than before" from Marvin Gaye's "Ain't That Peculiar." The arrangement on "Day Tripping" is shamelessly based on the very obscure, but exquisitely lovely song "Roots of Love" by the soulful 70s female trio Quiet Elegance. The intro of "Francoise" and Sharleen's whispery vocal delivery echoes Claudine Longet's version of "I Love How You Love Me." (***see my update on this comment below...). A few more listens may reveal even more references.
There are a couple of songs that hark back to Texas' most popular period like the haunting title track "Melody", which could have easily fit in on "The Hush" and "Where Did It Go Wrong" on "White on Blonde."
For fans of Texas and Sharleen Spiteri, this is definitely a "guilty pleasure" in the positive sense. For new comers, it may be a bit of a musical culture shock keeping in mind how seemingly undervalued real melodies and real instruments are in today's popular music. Although, I solidly recommend this CD, I guess what is keeping me at a four star rating is that it may be a bit too much of a good thing. A little bit less of the "everything but the kitchen sink" production on some tracks would have come out as "more." Then again, I plan to play this CD many more times and may go on to the full five stars anyway.
The song "Francoise", I had thought was influenced by Claudine Longet's version of "I Love How You Love Me" is actually a direct homage to french superstar singer Francoise Hardy and a song Hardy did called "Voilà" from 1967. The songs are so close that one could almost make a case for plagiarism.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 Jul 2008 21:58:59 BDT
Rocking Ryan says:
Superb review, Thank you!
Posted on 3 Aug 2008 17:53:11 BDT
R. P. Greenhalgh says:
I'll second the previous comment, and add a little. While over-production was a feature of 70s music (probably because it was suddenly possible) so was the tendency towards short songs, which is something others have commented on. I have now problem with songs and albums that are concise for I think it better that the alternative, common a decade or so ago, of albums bloated with filler songs. In the UK were pretty lucky with the live music/real instruments issue you mention. We are blessed with a resurgent interest in both at the moment and, even though the weather might be dubious a choice of festivals on any weekend you choose and I, too, would love to hear Sharleen live. Richard
In reply to an earlier post on 27 Feb 2010 07:24:15 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 16 Jul 2010 19:50:05 BDT]
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