‘Love having You Around’ is the opening track of Stevie Wonder’s 1972 album Music of My Mind, the first Motown album on which he had full creative control. The record marked Wonder’s first extensive use of synthesizers.
As he would on most of his records, Wonder contributed almost every sound on Music On My Mind. On this track, for example, only the trombone work of Art Baron didn’t come from Wonder himself.
Garbage has a muscular industrial sound that could be accurately described as hard rock with an electronic flavor. They’re not exactly balladeers.
But the band has a tradition of ending each album with a slow, usually sad, song. On 2001’s Beautiful Garbage, the band’s third album, that song was ‘So Like a Rose.’
Today wraps up my track-by-track look at Tift Merritt’s latest album, Stitch of the World. I hope it was less taxing for some readers than last year’s Lucinda Williams deep dive.
The album closes with a third song featuring Sam Beam on backing vocals, and as in the other two, his contribution is sublime.
As I mentioned in my first post about Tift Merritt’s Stitch of the World, the album was written in the wake of her divorce. In general, the record is more about the recovery than the break-up, with the exception of today’s SOTD, ‘Eastern Light.’
Again accompanied by Sam ‘Iron & Wine’ Beam, Merritt delivers a gorgeous and haunting elegy to a failed relationship, assigning blame to neither party but longing for a feeling she can never reclaim.
Discussion of Tift Merritt almost always comes around to the question of why she isn’t more popular. Not just on this blog but in most critics’ reviews as well.
It’s not that her fans decry the lack of massive Billboard success, sold-out stadium shows and household name status. I’m talking about a level of popularity that’s somewhere above that of a local bar band.
Just when I was talking about the preponderance of ballads on Stitch of the World, Tift Merritt lets loose with an up-tempo rocker.
‘Proclamation Bones’ is rushed and what passes for grungy in Merritt’s acoustic vocabulary. It’s a sexy stomp through a modern Garden of Eden, continuing the nature theme found on much of the album but giving it a more carnal edge.
Continuing my song-by-song presentation of Tift Merritt’s latest album, Stitch of the World, we arrive at track six, ‘Icarus.’
When I listened to Stitch of the World the first time, I initially felt this song might have been one too many slow ballads in a row. It’s one of the most delicate songs on a very delicate album.