Sometimes I like to listen to music that reflects my softer side; music that soothes. Last night, for example, I was inspired to dig through my collection for my copy of "Blue" by Joni Mitchell to have a listen to 'River' - which is one of the saddest and most beautiful songs that I own. In a similar vein, when driving back to Nottingham last Sunday, I spent a very pleasant and relaxing hour listening to Nick Drake.
For many years now, I have frequently been struck by an urge to listen to songs of existential angst about lost love and death sung in a honeyed bass baritone. An itch that only Scott Walker can scratch.
I have loads of this type of stuff scattered throughout my music library: Carla Bruni, Damien Rice, Dusty Springfield, Anthony Newley, Devendra Banhart, Vic Damone, Andy Williams.... even a bit of Dido from time to time. That kind of thing.
It was very much with this in mind that I popped out this morning and picked up a copy of "Back to Bedlam" by James Blunt. I first saw him on "Later....with Jools Holland" the other week, and subsequently in a couple of TV adverts for the album. Over a period of a couple of days a combination of his voice and the genuine nature of his performance (just him at the piano, singing with his eyes shut and sounding a bit nervous about his big TV break) really sank into my head. In the end I gave in and bought the album.
On first listen it sounds pretty good.... heartfelt lyrics? check. Lovely voice? check. Lots of piano and acoustic guitar? check. Songs about lost love and death? check.
Just what the doctor ordered for a sensitive flower like me. Perhaps I'll put it on later and have a good cry, eh?
I also bought "In Your Honour", the new Foo Fighters album, because when all is said and done, sensitive is good, but sometimes you just have to rock like a bastard.
6 weeks later
2 days ago