I find it quite hard to talk about music. Aside from my lack of general musical knowledge, I find it hard to justify my taste because I can’t really put my finger on why I like particular bands or songs. Apart from waiting to listen to them and go, “… That bit!” I got nothin’.
Also, this is what my collection currently looks like…
It needs some T.L.C.
So, I have decided that it’s about time to go through it all, rediscover my taste, learn a bit more about my favourites (because, by Jove, I will have favourites if it’s the last thing I do) and possibly even find things to say about them when that dreaded question, “What kind of music do you like?” comes up again. Because it will. And I should really make an effort to join the rest of the world for that conversation.
So, as a starter, I am going to listen through five albums at a time from my collection, and record my thoughts on them. I may get rid of some, I may find favourites. I may question my past consumer self.
I may even look forward to having a smaller, more definitive, more used collection of CDs. And once I’ve made my way through what I already own, I’m going to go in search of new music to excite the groove that is hopefully still in my heart! Music I think I should know, and music I feel I want to know. I’m open to suggestions. What’s on your shelf?
*If you click on the title of the albums below, it’ll take you to links where you can buy them.
Max Richter – The Blue Notebooks
Thoughts: Beautiful. Moving. Reminds me somewhat of the film Shutter Island, on which the second track, On The Nature Of Daylight, is mixed with Dinah Washington’s This Bitter Earth (also worth checking out.) I liked the film, and it was also my first experience of Max Richter. I have a feeling this will form a recurring theme in my musical taste; positive memories associated with filmic experiences, leading to fuller enjoyment of music that I might not otherwise appreciate as much. Which reminds me of my first real understanding of the power of music videos – watching Keane’s Bedshaped, which I caught on Sky at my friend’s house while we were in school. I was so moved by the little grey figure and his plight that I felt a new openness to the sound of the song, which I now really like.
Favourite tracks: On The Nature Of Daylight – which inspires me so much I have used it in the development of a physical theatre piece.
Interesting facts: He’s British (Wahey!) and he co-founded and spent ten years with a contemporary classical ensemble called Piano Circus.
Jeff Buckley – Grace
Thoughts: Quite stressful to listen to. Not for every mood, certainly. Quite a varied album. Reminds me of Muse. Or rather, they must remind me of Buckley. This is one I feel I should like because the general consensus is that he’s an important artist, but actually it’s not the sort of thing I’d put on regularly and sit through. I also don’t like his earring. Sorry, Jeff. I appreciate the passion in it though. (The album, not the earring.)
Favourite tracks: So Real
Interesting facts: Was raised as Scotty Moorhead. This is his only studio album, which quite surprises me. He also seems only to have acquired a following a few years before his untimely end, dying at age 31, I believed previously, in suicide, though apparently not.
Keeper? S’pose so, even if only for occasion.
Julianna Barwick – The Magic Place
Thoughts: Stunning. Different. Refreshing. Calming. Massage music. Charges my motivated energies. It was a gift, a sort of “Try this.” I’m glad I did.
Favourite tracks: It’s more of a onesy album.
Interesting facts: She was born in Louisiana and raised in Missouri. Her music is composed of loops and layers of her own voice. She has one full-length album and one EP that came before this one.
Kings of Leon – Aha Shake Heartbreak
Thoughts: Not particularly my thing anymore, not something I’ll be getting out a lot, but nice for a bit of nostalgia, or a sunny drive. Despite the subsequent over-hype over-playing of newer songs, I think Kings of Leon are alright as a band and have some good songs.
Favourite tracks: King of the Rodeo and Razz
Interesting facts: It’s the only album by Kings of Leon to have a Parental Advisory certificate. The cover is reminiscent of Queen’s A Night At The Opera.
Keeper? Definitely. Good to be able to pull out every now and then.
Patrick Watson – Close To Paradise
Thoughts: Absolutely my cup of tea. The kind of thing I can put on in pretty much any mood and just drift away to. I love the use of instruments, the different moods, the playful tones, minor keys, atmosphere invoked, the layers. It makes me feel nostalgic.
Favourite tracks: Close to Paradise, because the kick-in in that gives me such a rush, but they’re all pretty damn good. The Great Escape is another long-standing favourite of mine.
Interesting facts: On September 24, 2007, the album won the Polaris Music Prize.
Keeper? If only because it’s so important to me now, I feel I should always keep hold of this one.
All pictures from Google Images.