Friday, August 18, 2006

John & Lucie Collins - Sometimes

Hear The Track Here

I think John and Lucie's description of their music is most apt, that they make 'adult contemporary, emotionally complex ballads'. All of which is undeniably true. Music of sophistication and much charm even for a hard hearted swine like yours truly, as you well know I have a terrible time with ballads, the weepier the worser (Ed: eh?). Like most perfectionists, and John Collins is definitely that, there are a couple of versions of this floating about, the original and a version featuring Jim Miller (of Jim-n-Lisa) on sax and anything that musical slu... er genius gets into is alright by me. However, the version I give you a link for above is the original because I felt that the working version still had rough edges that will no doubt be worked out in due course. Besides that, the music is merely backdrop to the parts of John and Lucie's work that really interest me: Lucie's lucious vocals and their ability to turn in a cracking song every time.

From the very first showtune tinged A Voice In The Night, I have been a fan of this duo's work and I am absolutely repulsed by most music in this field. It's what John and Lucie bring to this genre that makes their work interesting and good to listen to. There's a solid professionalism in their music and production that fits the often dramatic scale of their work. Again, the reason I pick the original version to talk about is because it's a terrific SONG (verse, verse, chorus, vers, chorus) that tweaks and teases at your emotions beautifully. I am the first to admit that I am a philistine in these matters, hating both ballads AND showtunes, but tracks like Sometimes manage to get through the hardest of hearts. Musically, the kind of track you may well hear played quietly in a piano bar, it gets a tremendous kick up the butt once Lucie's vocal cuts in, her power to command attention electric.

For my money, there are a couple of places in this difficult track (to perform vocally) that Lucie just doesn't pull it off with the confidence or reach the music/song deserves and maybe that will also be fixed in a final mix. This is most noticeable on the words 'dream it away' but it does occur elsewhere too. These are minor niggles though because - as usual - it's the emotion and power of the song itself that will score over production bits and bobs and in that department, Sometimes fairly crackles with tension. A big, sad power ballad that truly deserves the term. As I said back there somewhere (probably a million times) this isn't normally music that I would like, but Sometimes has won me over big time because it carries the one thing I most crave from a listening experience - the power to touch and move me. As I listened to Lucie's performance I was reminded time and again of the late and much missed Mary Gottschalk, who also specialised in material of this kind and I mean that as a sincere compliment to both vocalists. Although I'll wait for the final mix of this track, I WILL be keeping some version of this and that's for sure.

Highly Recommended, three hankie power ballad.

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