I’ve been gone… I’ve been two weeks in the hospital for the usual reason, epilepsy — called a persistent bell-ringer, knocking, ringing at the door for a while, but better now… driven away.
It’s always too long between lists, but I don’t do a list unless there is really something worthwhile. Something that moves me, and that I think may move you too. If you don’t know the songs, or the covers, I try to include the ones that I think are the best. So, that said, I hope you enjoy this list, and if you don’t know the songs, visit tantmieux.
"Ooh, Child (Things Are Gonna Get Easier)" by Beth Orton – There are many covers of this song, but it was originally performed (from what I could trace) by The Five Stairsteps (four brothers and a sister from Chicago). It was, as performed by the original group, a pop song but with a soul sound (it’s often performed by gospel groups as well). This version by Beth Orton is an acoustic of the song. The original song has that beautiful molasses sounding voice at the beginning which is hard to beat, but then, I don’t think Orton’s version is meant to compete – it’s just a good cover. I actually came across this by accident when searching for the original performer (and discovered that Marvin Gaye has covered it, among many others), but it is Orton’s version that I really like. I admit, I don’t know anything else by Orton – so I can’t vouch for her music across the board, but in this particular case, she’s hit a winner.
"Honey Don’t Think" by Grant Lee Buffalo – I found Grant Lee Buffalo by means of another song, “Truly, Truly” which I also love and I include, informally, on this List. Both songs are terrific. Honey Don’t Think reminds me of some mellower work by Ryan Adams in a way, only less folksy. It has the smoothness of Prefab Sprout – without Paddy’s voice, of course, but with a nice mellow thing going on that is really quite appealing. I stumbled across this quite by accident, but am glad that I did. For a listen, always visit the Tant Mieux page and visit List of the Moment where you can take a listen to any current songs on this list…
"Belle" by Al Green – If you like Al Green but don’t know this song, seek it out (you can take a listen on Tant Mieux), but this is one of his best. It’s gentle, lyrical, and honest. Well, perhaps as honest as one can be in this world (I no longer have any illusions about complete truth with a capital T in the Platonic sense of the word – it’s like Love with a capital L – I have become like Diogenes, a true cynic, alas). That does not prevent you from enjoying “Belle.” Green is better known for other songs, especially “Let’s Stay Together” (also a great song), but in this reviewers humble opinion, I’d go as far as to say that “Belle” is a better song in many ways – rare, quieter, and worth the listen.
"The Reason Why" by Rachael Yamagata – I don’t know how I’d classify Rachael Yamagata because she has a range. I saw her marked as “jazz” which made me think of Norah Jones, but she doesn’t remind me at all of Norah Jones or that style. Yamagata’s songs like “Worn Me Down” have a hard edge to them – a pissed-off, hurt edge – that works because it seems sincerely felt. “The Reason Why” is no exception. It’s clearly the end of something big here – something achingly lost, and while we have all had break-ups, this is something else entirely for it seems to carry more weight. Yamagata expresses what I want to express but simply cannot find the words for. Given that, here are some of the lyrics;