Sara Groves release - Add to the Beauty is getting a lot of play. The textures, melodies, and the quality of her voice takes me back to some good New England folk music - reminding me a bit of Dar Williams or Jonatha Brook at times. That is cool, but it is the theology that catches my attention. Lines like "Love wash over a multitude of things... make us whole." And the lyrics to "Just Showed Up for my Own Life" all add up to her work really adding to the beauty. Thanks Sara.
Imogen Heap has been a favorite of mine for a few years and her last studio release is amazing. The textures make me wish that I played keyboards and spent all of my time learning to harness computers for music rather than playing guitar. If you don't know her, check out her website here and her myspace here. Wonderful evocative music.
Somewhere deep inside there's a true funk soldier. Which brings me to Prince.
3121 Isn't his best effort but there is some great material on it and when Prince wants to get funky... nobody holds a candle to him. It is interesting to see how he wrestles with the intersection of his notoriously explicit sexuality and his relatively newly found faith as a Jehovah's witness... One of these days our church band will probably end up playing "Beautiful, Loved, and Blessed" and maybe "The Word" too.
Finally an older disk that I hadn't played for a while... Julie Miller's Broken Things which was released in '99.
A good friend of mine's significant other is in Afghanistan. Stephanie and I are recording a few tunes to send to James. As we were talking about songs to do, I thought of Julie Miller and pulled the disk out after not listening to it for a long time. A tune called "Speed of Light" from this CD is on the short list.
the only thing that doesn't change
makes everything else rearrange
is the speed of light
the speed of light
your love for me must be
the speed of light
Julie Miller is an amazing songwriter with a unique voice that you will either love or hate (I love it). Her songs will tear your heart open and then offer healing. I sang "Broken Things" at a service following 9/11 and it remains one of the most meaningful songs I know. The chorus goes:
you can have my heart
if you don't mind broken things
you can have my life
if you don't mind these tears.
I heard that you make old things new
so I give these pieces all to you
if you want it you can have my heart
So... that's what I'm listening to these days.