Off the record...

As a child, my father introduced me to Carole Kings 'Tapestry', we have a signed copy on the wall. Recorded at the A&M Studios, previously the Chaplin Studios and currently the Jim Henson Studios, Carole was supported by Joni Mitchell and James Taylor and their bands throughout. A slick production sustains the warmth and intimacy of the songs as if Carole were in the room with you. There is something wonderful about the simplicity of her piano playing, she has a great ability to create any mood, from light hearted and lively on 'I feel the earth move', to a kind of melancholic combination of melody and lyric on 'It's too late'. It is now one of my absolute favorites, whether it’s more because of the richness in her voice and use of melody or the nostalgia behind my first encounter with the record, I’m still not sure. Unbeknownst to me, there was a record player hidden among all of our musical equipment and instruments in my family home. It felt like a mini adventure, exploring all the faders and dials on the machine until suddenly she began to play. Carole’s voice filled the room, and it was a moment of pure contentment. I spent hours listening to her phenomenal lyricism and extraordinary musicianship. She is a dynamic singer-songwriter and has created songs for the likes of 'Aretha Franklin' and 'The Monkees'. Creating songs that can be related to by men and women of any age Carole will remain as one of my favorites.

 

For four and a half years I lived on the remote Island of St.Helena. I often get this strange feeling of homesickness for a place that I can't exactly call home. In these moments the one thing that connects me is music, particularly reggae. One of my all time favorite albums is 'Legend' the best of Bob Marley and The Wailers. As soon as I hear his unforgettable guitar strum and his raspy yet smooth voice, I am totally transported to my little bubble of sea and sunshine in the middle of the South Atlantic. Marley had this enigmatic way about him, but his music left him completely vulnerable and open to be explored by all people, all over the world. His lyrics look at all aspects of life and the accompaniment could not get any cooler. Despite the challenges experienced by Marley throughout his life, 'Legend' is a feel good, optimistic album. The use of bass and percussion creates a laid back vibe . It's the perfect album for chilling out or dancing to. The opening track 'Is this love' is timeless. The choice of sounds and layering of vocal is a dreamy combination. It's safe to say each track is iconic and can be recognised within seconds. His genius lyric and soulful sounds will live on forever, legend. 

 

'Damn' by Kendrick Lamar is an album I can listen to at any time. I love how experimental he was throughout this, his 4th album. Executive produced by Dr Dre and with an eclectic mix of contributors ranging from Zacarri to U2 each track is a journey. The first track 'Blood' begins with a 90s boy band vibe and he merely talks over the music, but it's refreshingly different from the constant flow of new music on the scene. His track 'Humble' was so popular "sit down be humble" trended across social media platforms as the lyrics resonated with people worldwide. The piano riff that's carried throughout 'Humble' is gritty and edgy. It's the perfect background for his rhythmic rap. The catchy layered backing vocals are somewhat grimey and gospel adding another dimension to his unique sound. Kendricks use of news, radio and phone call tracks, bring an exciting and interesting sound to the hip-hop, rap scene. His music is certainly ear grabbing and is enhanced through needle and wax.

 

Theses are the word's of our 8-Teams' Sophie O'Keeffe in Cork, Ireland. 

Off the recordReview