Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last Chance of '08/Amel Larrioux

31 December 2008

General Specifics

 This is my last chance to put any actual review content in here before the year change (CLUNK) and if anyone is checking it out, possibly the only chance I'll have to prove I can write something worthwhile in a reasonably intelligent manner. No pressure!

 My music collection is largely CD-based. I download and listen to MP3s (running about an 8 GB iTunes folder currently), but if I'm impressed enough to keep listening and buy someone's tunes, I'll want the best file quality possible and that would be the original AIFF (CD) form. And sometimes I've found some sweet work in a thrift shop or used CD store that I wasn't expecting and often didn't know about before. Serendipity and all that. Of course, you have to be prepared for a few stinkers too.

  So – I will be discussing the work of each artist that I personally own, or members of my family do, or that I've listened to otherwise enough to form a clear opinion. Once I hear a particular singer/songwriter/group I tend to follow up, learn about them and their other “product” and decide what I think and what I can share.

 First Up: Amel Larrioux grew up in Greenwich Village (New York, not England) of artistic parents and developed as a singer, a songwriter and a person with many influences to draw on. For a time she was part of Groove Theory (the 90s incarnation). The CD I found at a thrift shop, “Infinite Possibilities”, was her first solo after GT. It is, IMHO, avant-garde blues-jazz that is eminently accessible to anyone listening with an open heart.
 Amel examines, sympathizes and revels in her blackness (she is biracial) as being her, but she NEVER does anything to fit a stereotype – anyone's stereotype. She is a free spirit. She can redefine what “Soul” is between any two songs, say Sweet Misery and Searchin' For My Soul, sound ethereally tribal on Shine, philosophical on Weather and have tears running down your face for the joy and beauty of Make Me Whole. Amel is like no one else; Amel is Amel, an artist true.

 Links:
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amel_Larrieux

 http://www.myspace.com/bravebird2

 www.amellarrieux.com redirects to 
 http://www.blisslife.com/bliss/index.php

 Article found here on her with some info: (I disagree with the rating vehemently)
http://shopping.yahoo.com/p:Amel%20Larrieux:1927151052:page=biography;_ylt=Aqu.xkDq.2clAT7hw0HzAuoJGbgF

 Infinite Possibilities is on Epic Records, 550 Music, Sony/BMG Music Entertainment.

Songs on Infinite Possibilities:

Get Up  
INI 
Sweet Misery  
Searchin' for My Soul  
Even If  
Infinite Possibilities  
Shine  
Down  
Weather  
Make Me Whole  

 Other albums:

 Bravebird
 Lovely Standards
 Morning


 Sounds like her husband Laru is a fortunate man. When I listen to Amel, I feel fortunate too.

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