Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Tasmin Archer-Shipbuilding [ALBUM] (1994)


Just as my dance music obsessions were starting to build up again, I've switched gears now to build upon the soft rock side of the colorful music spectrum. Easily the most refreshing and captivating voice I've heard in my recent days of music-listening, the soulicious British sensational Tasmin Archer sparked something really special inside of me when I devoted an hour of my Tuesday afternoon to enjoy this much-sought-after 1994 mini-album of hers. Just seconds into the jewel of an opening title track, and I was instantly in a state of awe! As the sharp piano and the slight jazzy touch radiated on every note, I took in Tasmin's haunting story, one that virtually transported my mind back in time to a dark and awful place that she describes with the most exquisite detail; indeed, lines such as 'why are we diving for life when we could be diving for pearls instead?' had me visualizing what must've happened in that gloomy setting. Had to listen to it twice to ensure that I caught each and every word, but as I sailed on through the rest of this "Shipbuilding" voyage, it would occur to me that there was simply something magical about Tasmin that forced me to listen to all of these songs twice, absorbing every bit of her excellent songwriting. "Deep Dark Truthful Mirror": A title like that gets your attention, and so does the lyrical imagery of things like butterflies feeding on a dead money's head (one of my favorite lines from this song) and the soul-shaking fire and passion she thrusts into her delivery of 'deep dark' when she performs the main chorus. A feeling of renewal and instant adoration came over me again the moment I checked into "New Amsterdam". It's the fluttery background melody accompanying the music that got to me first, then the compelling story about her life in this European locale. Her way with words on this one is outstanding, highlighted by the tongue-twister of a line that is ' till I speak double dutch to the double duchess '. Even the trio of live performances are gems to be treasured; her lovely tribute to her mother, "When It Comes Down To It" (I like her spoken introduction before the song stared, noting how the British say 'mum' instead of 'mom') is a song I could bask in all day because of its smooth groove and somber tonality while "Steel Town" sees this British songstress showing off her powerful vocals, aching and rising to heights I hadn't yet experienced! Piano acoustics always make for a beautiful listen, and that's exactly what "All Grown Up" and the concluding piece, "Sleeping Satellite", are collectively. The latter, which is the singer's known popular hit, is an especially instant attraction; not only does the song bring out the true exquisiteness in her voice, it also places those past historical missions to outer space in a different light that I hadn't considered before:

1. This Is Reality
2. Deep Dark Truthful Mirror
3. All Grown Up
4. New Amsterdam
5. Lords Of The New Church (Live)
6. When It Comes Down To It (Live)
7. Steel Town (Live)
8. Sleeping Satellite (Acoustic)

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