Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Jane Siberry - When I Was A Boy


Having never heard of Jane Siberry nor any of her music until I met Mine, all I could do was listen to this album and be sucked into the vortex of sound created by her brilliant voice.  Her's is rich, smooth and as sweet as wild honey, even if it does come with the occasional lyrical sting.

She falls into that zone of magnificently-voiced female artists who I've never really had any interest in, being the rock pig I mostly am.  But I couldn't call myself a musician if I wasn't able to appreciate and acknowledge her prodigious talents.

This is seriously good music but just not for me.



I haven't been looking forward to this review.  Not because I don't love this album, because I do.  But because of Vigil, the song about sitting in a room waiting for a parent to die.  I haven't been able to listen to that song since my father died, almost a year ago.  And I tried to listen to it for this review, but I had to stop.  It's still too painful.

Anyway, I came upon Jane Siberry in a restaurant/bar in Sydney many years ago, when a DJ was playing one of her songs.  After noting down the name, one of my friends (hi, Kevin!) found she was playing in Sydney soon afterwards, and we went to see her.  I was transfixed, and bought this album as soon as I could.  She was playing as a girl-and-guitar, as I recall, but the strength of her voice was - look, I still don't have words for it.

Many, many years later she visited again, this time to play at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival under her new name - Issa.  (She's gone back to being Jane now, I gather.)  So I flew to Adelaide to see her with a friend of mine who lives there.  And again her voice was - so riveting, so enveloping, so beautiful, there aren't words for it.  This is one instance where the CD offers a small reflection of the power of the artist's voice - not the other way around, as it so often is.

I was really annoyed to find she toured Australia again last year, and I was completely unaware of it!  Because I could hear her sing "Love is everything they said it would be/ Love made sweet and sad the same" any day of the week.  Although I could probably listen to her sing the phone book.


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