Showing posts with label Sarah McLachlan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sarah McLachlan. Show all posts

Tuesday 10 June 2014

Review Sarah McLachlan's new album 2014 -'Shine On'

Canadian singer songwriter Sarah's music provides subtle mood changes.  Her music is intensely moving and full of both sad poignancy and hopeful joys.  While several of her song titles sound full of sad heartbreaks this new album does indeed shine. I enjoy her arrangements and her piano playing which always serves the song firstly.  On this new album some of the backing has a more updated feel, with slow trumpet,  discordant soaring guitar,  gentle ukulele and long note keys.  She has a wide ranging expressive voice and songs that linger. 

I particularly like the new songs - Broken Heart, Brink of Destruction, Beautiful Girl.  I am not as keen on the arrangements on the song Monster however. 

I have of course enjoyed her previous albums Afterglow (2003) and Fumbling Towards Ecstasy (1993)
I know she is wonderful live going by several YouTube clips - so I hope Sarah you might play over here in Scotland very soon!  Hint hint.   

Her song, "One Dream," was the official theme song of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Sarah McLachlan has sold over 40 million albums worldwide. McLachlan's best-selling album to date is Surfacing, for which she won two Grammy Awards (out of four nominations) and four Juno Awards. She founded the Lilith Fair tour, which showcased female musicians on a scale that had never been attempted before. The Lilith Fair concert tours took place from 1997 to 1999, and resumed in the summer of 2010. On May 6, 2014, she released her first album of original music in four years, titled Shine On.

It has been wonderful so far this year with some of my favourite artists releasing new albums -  Sarah McLachlan, Cara Dillon (A Thousand Hearts), Dougie MacLean. 

Plus some exciting new artists I've seen on the Jools Holland show - including White Denim from Austin Texas.  Goodness no wonder the genres are blurring these days!  White Denim is a four-piece rock band from Austin, Texas. Their music draws influence from dub, psychedelic rock, blues, punk rock, progressive rock, soul, jazz, experimental rock with home based recording, jamming approach, intense looping work and unusual song structures.

Monday 12 May 2014

Music 2014

I forgot to write about new music. I'm enjoying 'The Head and Heart' from Seattle, whose Oran Mor gig was very good. (new album Let’s Be Still)
Very good gig though and the audience were really up for it. Also some excellent gigs at the Milngavie folk club - although in folk I am worried that all the Scottish folk legends are over sixty now and I'm not sure who there is from the younger generation to replace the likes of Dick Gaughan or Rab Noakes.

I admire Karine Polwart and Inge Thomson though and RM Hubbert was certainly excellent supporting Mogwai. Justin Currie (with Del Amitri ) was wonderful at the Hydro in January at Celtic (he's not so young either). But otherwise? Many of the younger singer songwriters lack substance, character or depth.

Poalo Nutini? I watched him on Jools Holland last night and he has come on since the early contrived pop of his first album, and much respect to him. 

I've been listening to Canadian Sarah McLachlan, who has written some top quality songs and is great live. She has a new 2014 album out Shine On. I'm a fan.

With the age of the internet I prefer to find my own music. I don’t wish to follow what is promoted at me.
Otherwise I go back for my Dylan or folk fix - with a bit of the Stones or Stevie Nicks thrown in. Karine's new album ‘Traces’ is very good, with lovely textures (recorded by her husband drummer Mattie Foulds).   

Thursday 9 January 2014

The NEW female Piano singer songwriters

Back in the 70s there were so many wonderful piano singer songwriters. There is something quite special about piano melodies as opposed to guitar composed songs.
There was Paul Simon's Bridge over Troubled Water (while he composed mostly on guitar), McCartney's Long and Winding Road, Elton John's Your Song, Carole King's Tomorrow and of course Joni Mitchell's songs.
But today, while there are many top guitar carrying singer songwriters I struggle to find any quality piano singer songwriters ... where are they? 
The only high quality younger piano singer songwriters I can think of are all female - Adele, who had to fight to have ONLY piano on her massive hit Someone Like You; Emeli Sande and her lovely Clown and River songs; and Canadian singer songwriter the irrepressible Sarah McLachlan and her very moving piano song Answer (new album next year).  She sings songs of understanding that are haunting and questioning. 

The only guy I can think of is Chris Martin's piano songs with his Coldplay band (Fix You).
Here's the irrepressible piano singer songwriter Sarah McLachlan. I listened to her Afterglow album quite often a few years back and I went to check on her and she has a great YouTube clip with a great band too here -    

Sarah McLachlan, is a Canadian musician, singer, and songwriter. Known for her emotional ballads and mezzo-soprano vocal range, as of 2009, she has sold over 40 million albums worldwide. McLachlan's best-selling album to date is Surfacing, for which she won two Grammy Awards (out of four nominations) and four Juno Awards.

The Right Arrangements
I watched Lana del Ray’s 'National Anthem' video trailer with its' strong black and whites and it moves at just the right pace. I also watched Lana's gig at Hackney weekend where the crowd was singing along and clearly into the music. This was very good and touching too her joy of the crowd and lovely to see after the poor reviews for her Saturday Night Live performance - when the rock band backing her didn't work with the style of her music and I posted that she needed simply 'strings and piano.' So why do label people always think 'to be cool' the artists needs a rock band when it all depends on the type of music.