New Music and Goosebumps

New Music and Goosebumps

There is an art to experiencing a new album in the collection. I received the talented and lovely Ms. Ingrid Michaelson’s latest effort LIGHTS OUT for Christmas (along with some concert tickets!) but up until now, I have not had the proper time and attention to invest in enjoying it. So… this morning, that and sipping my morning coffee are on the agenda.

I don’t know if you are as excited about listening to a new album as I am but for me, it gives me a goosebumps. What if I’m about to embark on hearing for the first time one of my favorite albums of all time? It could happen. I mean, it’s hard to think back to sooooooo long ago, but there was a time when I listened to SGT PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND or DARK SIDE OF THE MOON.  And I recall for both sitting there in wonder, jaw open and imagination thoroughly stirred. What was I listening to, I thought to myself, because it had transcended the path of just another rock and roll album. At least for me.

So I have a particular routine each time I hear a new album. Read through the liner notes and check out how many of the songs the artist contributed to as a writer and musician. Then, read what guest performers may be joining the artist on songs. I like to get a sense before I even embark on the album how much the artists wove themselves into the work.

On this particular album, Ingrid Michaelson writes every single song either alone or with a few other writers, and I’m not surprised in the least. One of the things I respect about her so much is her quiet but strong vocals, thoughtful songwriting and how she maintains control over her own sound and brand. She is a wonderful model for other independent artists at how you can continue to grow in popularity steadily and still maintain who you are. And though I’ve never seen her perform live, I’ve seen clips on YouTube and witnessed how incredible she is in concert and look forward to her upcoming Capitol Theatre appearance in Clearwater in February.

Each track on LIGHTS OUT takes listeners to a different place thematically and aesthetically, and I really appreciate that. “Time Machine” is a particular favorite. Mmm. Click here to experience that especially memorable song. This whole weekend has been about enjoying new albums. Yesterday, I heard Taylor Swift’s 1989 and Black Keys’ TURN BLUE for the first time. As always, I completely devoured the Black Keys’ new music. Swift, I enjoyed, but I have liked her earlier work more. I think part of it has to do with feeling like much of the second half of the album felt like one Katy Perry-like track after another. And that’s not a knock at Swift or Perry, because I like both of the artists, especially Swift who I’ve become a huge fan of, for some time. I know I need another few listens to fully appreciate it. But I didn’t have that wonderful instant reaction of joy and wonder, at least not past the first 5 or 6 tracks which I did instantly like, but nothing as I experienced with other past Swift albums, in particular SPEAK NOW which produced for me one of the best songs I’d heard in years, “Enchanted.” Click here for that gem.

Mmm. The album is nearing its close and I’m already plotting the next occasion to sit and savor every note. This is Sunday morning, and I can’t think of a better way to spend it than with a tasty cup of coffee, meaningful music and a blank page ahead.

Enjoy your day, my friends.  ~ck


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