I was in the thick of love and devotion to Amy Winehouse when another soulful, young British woman came onto the scene. That was Adele and she had a popular hit with a song called Chasing Pavements. I didn’t get into it and I especially didn’t get into her version of To Make You Feel My Love, a song written by Bob Dylan and whom Joan Osborne had made me smitten by. Despite the hype and hysteria that Amy Winehouse received, Adele did pick up two Grammys which was pretty huge.
“Rolling In The Deep” from her latest album 21 entered my realm about 3 months ago. I was completely taken in. Loved the entire song, loved her voice. Amy Winehouse sojourn into rehab and returning to health, was Adele’s gain I suppose.
I bought her CD this past weekend in Montreal ( the first CD I’ve purchased in 3 years). I listened to the entire album twice driving home to Toronto – and Adele even made me cry with her track Someone Like You. I do admit, hearing song after song about love gone wrong is a little tiresome, but the standout songs really really do stand out and set her apart from the pack. She’s a singer songwriter with a set of pipes that overflow with soul and heartache. Lovely stuff.
I’ve been thinking about k.d lang a lot lately. She has a new band called the Siss Boom Bang and a new album with them called “Sing It Loud”. I already have a track on my iPod.
My sister Melanie was the one who brought k.d. lang into our home. Here was this punky looking, country Canadian woman with the most incredible voice I had ever heard. You can hear heartbreak, happiness and everything in between when she sang. As much as I liked her, I would never admit to it – after all, she was a COUNTRY SINGER and that was definitely a faux pas for any kid growing up in 1989. And yet, I remember hearing her version of Roy Orbison’s “Crying” and crying myself. There was something almost otherworldly about her voice. To this day, “Crying” makes me cry.
Once 16 rolled around, “Ingenue” came into my life. I loved that album. I wore that tape out. Here was k.d. (once again) doing something really different. It was torchy sounding, it was sad and so melodic. She was saying something. I loved the big unstoppable hit “Constant Craving”, I loved the Mark Romanek directed video. That album was unlike anything that I was listening to at the time – which comprised of Nirvana, Janet Jackson, Madonna and U2 for the most part.
When 24 rolled around, that’s when “Invincible Summer” fell into my lap. I adore that record. She clearly was listening to a lot of Burt Bacharach at the time. You can sunshine on that album. It was a pop record and about the joy of being in love. That album remains one of my faves of life – and one that I’m sure a lot of people don’t even know about.
She kinda disappeared for the last little while or so (Vancouver Olympics and her masterful version of Hallelujah excluded), and sometimes you forget the jewels that are around. I’m glad she’s resurfaced on some level because she is one of the greatest.
Ahhh, a WordPress topic close to my heart!
This is a great one that demands some thinking, albeit not too much for me. I wouldn’t be able to narrow it down to just one – but I did. Of course I would also say Michael Jackson, The Beatles and Nirvana as well, but the challenge was to do one. Here’s what I got:
I was born at a time where his reign was near its end – all I know of him was through media, my sister and then my own pilgrimage to Graceland 10 years ago. That visit humanized him for myself, which felt so real. But what he represented, what he did, what he trailblazed, what he set on fire – that was new ground, that was without precedent. To be a fly on the wall and see him during his A game – that would be a site.
God bless him for what he did, and for who came because of him.
(Coming soon – 100 Facts About Me – a challenge much greater than I thought!)