I have been on another music acquisition binge and yet with all the new CDs on my shelf and songs on my iPod, I keep coming back to the new record from Lianne La Havas, Is Your Love Big Enough?, and I'm once again astonished by the power music has to surprise.
I like to think as I near my fourth decade inhabiting this body on this third pebble from the sun that I've grown up, that I quit trying to get a seat at the cool kids' table. I like to see myself as a wizened sort immune to packaging and propaganda from politicians or Madison Avenue. I tell people I imagine my own inner monologue being voiced by National Treasure Morgan Freeman, the worldweary sort who has seen and heard it all and continues ever onward in spite of all the foolishness he has seen and endured. I tell people I'm a realist, that I see the world through my own eyes and without undue influence from peers or outsiders and then something or someone goes upside my head and I realize I'm not slick.
I shouldn't be so shocked when I'm wrong and yet I'm sitting mesmerized by a record I can't believe I've even heard of and when I did I tried to tell myself I wouldn't like it, that it wouldn't have anything interesting to say to me or anything I'd want to hear. There's nothing about this album that fits me except that it's incredible, so here I am. Again.
I'd tell myself I'm not supposed to like or that I wouldn't like, that it wouldn't have anything interesting to say to me or anything I'd want to hear. There's nothing about this album that fits me and yet here I am.
I'm working on my review of Is Your Love Big Enough? and I can't wait to talk to you about it but when I do, I don't want to waste a lot of time with these ancillary ruminations or foolish carryon. I want to talk about the record without resorting to lame comparisons or elevating it by tearing other things down but I'm spellbound by the record and my reaction to it. This is why I keep searching, buying, listening, and consuming. This. Moments like this.
I had this moment when senior contributor Jordan Richardson turned me on to Gary Clark Jr. last year and I haven't shut up about it since. I had it when I saw Michael Kiwanuka open for Clark this summer and subsequently buying his debut record. It happened again with Lianne La Havas. I'm not ignorant of history and yet I'll repeat it. I'll seal myself off, erecting imaginary borders of great import, they'll be demolished, I'll still be surprised, and I'll write about it. Ask me how I know. Better yet: watch the video or just listen...