Bob Lefsetz: Welcome To My World - "The River & The Thread"
I wanted to hate it on principle. Because she gets more press than I believe she deserves. So her father was Johnny Cash, so she's big on Twitter...
But if you remember the way it used to be when you put on a record in your own private world and no longer felt so alone, CHECK THIS OUT!
Credit her husband, producer John Leventhal, who worked his magic most famously on Shawn Colvin's debut, still my favorite album of the nineties, even though it was released at the tail end of 1989.
Start right at the beginning, with "A Feather's Not A Bird."
Now I'm gonna tell you, it's not about the lyrics. It's about the SOUND, like all great music. I'm not saying the words are bad or irrelevant, but first and foremost you've got to feel it, which I did, almost immediately.
It's the swampy sound.
You remember the swamp, right? Where there's no cell signal and you're living by your wits? That's how music used to be, before everybody was addicted to their mobile and kids called their parents multiple times a day and no one was ever alone. But that's what music is...a one on one experience, just you and what's coming in your ears...and this is so PLEASING!
I appreciate that it starts off with a guitar figure unrepresentative of what comes next, because it sounds like someone's tuning up, preparing, and then they lock onto the groove almost IMMEDIATELY!
Come on. You almost have a hard time not moving, grooving along to the sound. And it keeps getting better, with all the stringed instruments tweaking...and then the chorus is actually understated, like everything important, it's got an almost sexy feel, and the instruments coming out of it...just make you feel better and better.
And that's music. It's hard to explain. It's not about being in your face so much as sneaking up on you, entering your orifice when you least expect it and changing your life.
Yes, you can listen to the Top Forty hits and they'll change nothing. You can bump your ass, you can even sing along, but they're soulless. Like Katy Perry's "Roar"... Who wants to hear a woman/child talk about her power when the truth is that's not how life is at all, life is lonely, with more questions than answers, and we don't need music to make us either feel inferior or to charge us up but to...ride shotgun.
This is not supposed to happen. Everybody sitting on the sidelines bitching about the new era keeps stating you can't do this. That there's not enough money and streaming sound quality sucks and rather than marching forward they're giving up. And here's someone who hasn't had a hit for decades delivering something so right...
And you'll get it. Because they put the best track right up front.
And not every track is exquisite, but check out "The Long Way Home," which has got a feel that sounds like a combo of midsixties England and Tennessee and is so haunting. You're almost afraid to get out from under the covers. The music is almost scary, in that way the greatest stuff does, it touches your soul.
Everybody's swinging for the fences, nobody's bunting.
But you remember the bunt... The unexpected effort, which changes the whole game when it works.
Rosanne can sing, John and his cohorts can play. This is no indie effort that requires you to peer through a scrim to get. It's something if you've got a few lines in your face you're gonna completely understand, something you're gonna want to hear, especially when you're alone on a Sunday afternoon.
And I'll credit the press campaign for getting me to pay attention.
But I did not expect to get immediately hooked.
More like this please.