I don’t use the term genius very often, but Roland Orzabal is a musical genius. Better known as a co-founder of the group Tears For Fears with Curt Smith, he has been writing amazing songs for about 30 years. Roland also has one of the most powerful voices in music today. I have been a big fan since their first album, The Hurting which is a starkly honest reflection of both founders experience with childhood abuse. The lyrics from their deep body of work are usually intensely personal and almost always compelling. The music is beautifully written and carefully produced. Each album has a somewhat thematic feel and tends to deal with major life issues.
On this beautiful summer night I can’t help but feel a bit nostalgic. Time does fly by but the moments can be precious if you are paying attention. When you have your own children you realize that youth may be fleeting but the memories can last a lifetime. I believe there is a period in every young man’s life where he feels invincible. The burdens of responsibility and hard lessons of life have yet to weigh you down. The future looms brightly on the horizon and your self-confidence and idealism helps you hold your head high, square your shoulders and move forward in the direction of your dreams. Anything seems possible. Continue reading
Growing up in New York it was hard not be a Billy Joel fan. His music was ubiquitous and for good reason – he is very talented. I’ve always found myself getting sucked into the message behind his songs. You can tell he carefully thinks through his lyrics. Good songwriters always have a story to tell. They are able to leverage their own personal experience into a larger context. I cannot imagine how they would get inspired otherwise. Continue reading
While the peak of their popularity was in the 1980s, The Fixx still tours to this day. The older music holds up well and their newer songs are worth listening to. Just because an artist loses popularity doesn’t mean they stop having interesting things to say. Sometimes outside the glare of fame and blessed with the wisdom of life experience, songwriters can connect in more meaningful ways to their audience. Continue reading
Every once in awhile I get hooked on a song but know very little about the artist or band. From what I understand the Scottish group Love and Money released 4 albums in the mid 1980s to early 1990s. I heard the song “Jocelyn Square” several years ago on a compilation CD put out by a British music magazine and couldn’t get the tune out of my head. The guitar hook draws you in and the singer, James Grant, keeps you there – what a voice. Initially I thought it was a new song by Bozz Scaggs an artist I’ve always liked. I’ve actually been introduced to quite a few excellent artists through music magazines. I especially like it when they reintroduce artists from past decades who I never knew about. Not sure why I didn’t explore the band further but will rectify that soon. Continue reading
Fleetwood Mac has been responsible for some great music over the years. I’ve always been especially partial to the songwriting of Steve Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. They are formidable talents in their own right, but together seem to raise the bar even higher. It’s definitely a case of 1+1 =3. Continue reading
Paul is blessed with an uncanny ability to write lyrics that resonate on many levels. In addition, when stripped down his songs sound even better because you hear what they must have sounded like to him when he first was inspired to write them. I’ve often perceived him as more of a poet who opts to use a musical backdrop to get his message across. The song “Country” is a perfect example of this. And, like all good songwriters he can control the mood and take you where he wants to take you but then allows you to make it your own. Continue reading