When I think of passion in popular music I think of David Bowie, Damien Rice, Jeff Buckley, Arcade Fire, Lisa Germano, Martin Tielli, Sinead O’Connor, Radiohead, Veda Hille – I could go on but from that giant pool of musical expression, there really exists only a handful.
People who know me know that I’m an Elliott Smith freakazoid and would listen to him everyday, all day forever more if it didn’t scare people away.
This is a common exchange between me and the huz:
“Sweetie, I’m putting some music on, anything you’d like to hear?”
“Sure lover, anything except Elliott Smith…”
My point in bringing him up – even though I love him, I wouldn’t put him in the passionate category. I think he was devoted and passionate about his craft but listening to him sing, I never feel like he loses himself in that expression, like say David Bowie does in “Heroes”. David Bowie takes his own insides out during that song while Elliott just sings about it in “King’s Crossing”. Which is kind of ironic because Elliott Smith did literally lose himself to his craft in the end… (debatable, yes. but ultimatley his music led him to the place he was when he died, regardless of how/who/why)
But this post isn’t about Elliott Smith – it’s more about Chrissie Hynde.
In the world of music on ipods, computers, discs, cassettes, etc – I find it nearly impossible to keep all my loves in the same place. I’m trying to digitise it all but the rights and publishing issues in Canada are still a problem, so not everything is available through legal channels. That and mismanagement at the label level (for example, why can’t I buy Morrissey’s new album Ringleader of the Tormented on iTunes?) and the sheer economics in Canada. We haven’t even begun to reach critical mass yet, CDs are still the main seller, so the big cash prize via digital sales is still a ways away.
So yesterday I was working away and it occurred to me that I hadn’t heard one of my favourite pieces of music in ages – a trilogy called Spiritual High by Moodswings (two producers, Hood and Showbiz). I guess it’s been lost in my sea of electronics.
I visited iTunes to find it and lo and behold, be still my beating heart, lordy goodness – it was there!
The happiest and most positive music ever – Pt. 1 is simply the groove. It’s meditative, it puts you in an open frame of mind. Before you know it you’re into Pt. 2, a gorgeous Chrissie Hynde ballad:
Home be the temple of your heart
Home be the body of your love
Just like Holy water to my lips
Yes I do know how I survive
Yes I do know why I’m alive
To love and be with you
Day by day by day by day
Her voice is full and inspirational and it’s just not music anymore. It’s the most passionate thing she’s ever done. You’re lost on her journey. Man, and then if that’s not enough – Pt. 3 features Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech over the same groove, guaranteed to give you shivers.
If you love Beth Orton’s track “Galaxy of Emptiness” like I do – this will blow you away. Spiritual High has similar beat, a similar way of moving but it’s far denser, just drowning in the divine.
The rest of the album is great, minus some cheesy gee-tar (cheesy only because it’s dated), but the Spiritual High trilogy, I promise, is the highlight and it will make you serenade planet earth for days.