Sunday, February 12, 2017

B*WITCHED-Awake And Breathe (1999)

ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: February 12, 2017

Now this is where my memory of this Irish girl group fades, although listening to the B*WITCHED girls here their second and final studio album—that is, their final one before releasing an EP after their recent reunion less than a few years ago—isn't any less charming than their debut! They weave a slightly different kind of magic right at the beginning with the pop/rock opener, "If I Don't Fit", as their bold, angst-driven lyrics about a guy who's more trouble than he's worth brings out the wicked side of them. The memorable words from the chorus on this one include ' you're not bigger than me ' and ' you're replaceable ' , which are surely the spoken truth in a lot of other rocky romantic relationships. The main charm for me on the follow-up, "Jesse Hold On", is the musical arrangement, particularly the country-spirited horse-galloping stringed instrumental that plays along with the beat. Meanwhile, it's the collective instrumental melodies and ethnic ambiance that charm my ears a second time on the gem that's served up following after that: "I Shall Be There". Had a sudden sense that I'd gone back on that "Tomb Raider"/"Indiana Jones" expedition from my recent BAHA MEN adventure on that "Exuma's Reincarnation" track I enjoyed a couple of days ago, given the tribal chants and the whole ethnic presentation of this song. Besides that, there was something especially gripping about the simple lyrics delivered in the chorus: 'I shall be there; will you be there?'. It's those gentle, soothing pieces were these Irish girls and their sweet, collective voices seem to shine the most, whether it be the soothing piece "Leaves" (and I'd even predicted something soothing along the lines of a peaceful autumn and the other changing weather seasons when I peeked at the title), the ballad of reflection that is "It Was Our Day", the blissfully cute "Are You A Ghost?" (just an imagination, or is he really the real thing, in order words) or a personal favorite of mine, the calming acapella track "In The Fields We Lay", which is the best place to escape with their beautiful vocal harmony (the way their voices echo at the end of every line is most delightful). The girls also glitter on the breezy, middle tempo guitar-driven grooves; their performance of "Red Indian Girl" falls into that distinctive category. And it was great of them to record a special orchestral version to the one song from their self-titled debut that, looking back, possibly was their best song overall: "Blame It On The Weatherman"; the inclusion of the violins and company adds an elegant touch to this already epic musical adventure:

1. If It Don't Fit
2. Jesse Hold On
3. I Shall Be There
4. Jump Down
5. Someday
6. Leaves
7. The Shy One
8. Red Indian Girl
9. It Was Our Day
10. My Superman
11. Are You A Ghost?
12. In Fields Where We Lay
13. Blame It On The Weatherman (Orchestral Version)

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