Wednesday, September 10, 2008

rejoice like stars

my brightest diamond is one of those bands that i liked, but didn't love the first few times i heard some of her music.
but then, slowly, after a couple of listenings, i found myself drawn in. i fell, if you will. fell deeply into her thrall, and she quickly became on of my absolute favorites. she's one of those soft-spoken storytellers, so you strain a little bit to hear, and then suddenly you find your whole body engaged in really listening to what she has to say.
the robin's jar is one of my favorites from bring me the workhorse (no video, so close your eyes and listen):

it was this song that made me realize that worden is, well, more than a lovely voice. (like some of my other favorite singers, she trained as an opera singer, only to abandon it for pop. go figure.) she's a sheherezade, weaving thick, dreamlike story-spells in with her music.
my real favorite, golden star, is only available in studio quality on youtube accompanied by a weird user video.

i love the cinematic quality of the whole workhorse album, the breathless way that it's possible to get completely lost in these tales, the oddly spare yet satisfyingly rich musical accompaniment, the pictures that are woven by the interplay of voice and music. the voice is definitely the centerpiece. though the music never detracts, it's more of a cradle, a background, a springboard for worden's vocals.
when i listen to this album, i really do get lost. i'll step out of the train station, head in the clouds, music in my ears, and if it's not gray and raining and deliciously cool outside, it's a physical shock to my system, because i'll have been lulled into a quiet trance, for which the only appropriate physical world seems like autumn.
to be honest, i hesitated to write about my brightest diamond, if only because it wasn't love at first listen. but then, i got off the train the other morning, in one of the story-trances, and it was cool, and delicious, and at the base of a pillar near the station entrance was a robin. at that point, it just seemed inevitable.

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