Ancient Heart - Tanita Tikaram (1988, WEA)
I'm actually kind of a fan of Last.fm. From their recommendations I've found some good music (Masha Qrella for one). So when Last.fm told me that if I like Suzanne Vega then I'll like Tanita Tikaram, I thought, sure why not?!
Eh. I've listened through a few times now and it's starting to grow on me. I was really worried when I was first listening, this is clearly a pop album from the late 80s. More than Suzanne Vega, Tikaram really reminds me of Eleanor McEvoy. Who isn't great, but I really fell in love with her for almost 20 minutes way back in the undergrad years (the first set).
Tikaram's slower, jazzier numbers are more fun. She's got a very distinct voice, smooth and low. The pop-ier songs are too sparse and not very well mixed, the end result being something like being at a coffee shop on open night mic night. So while something like "For All These Years" is just great, fun and jazzy, "Good Tradition," the opening track, is damn near unlistenable.
That being said, I've listened through 3 times now, and I like it better each time I hear it. If you can make it through the first couple of tracks, you either become used to the late 80s synth or it actually gets better. I can't tell.
Favorite Track - "Twist in my Sobriety" - something about this reminds me of the Arabian dance from The Nutcracker, always one of my favorites.
Least Favorite - "Good Tradition" - seriously, I almost didn't listen to the album because of this.
next up - And Their Refinement of the Decline - Stars of the Lid (2007)
[so this post was particularly hard because I realized that one of my all-time-totally-the-best-thing-ever favorite albums isn't on my iPod. Saul Williams, who is a genius, should be here between Amnesiac and Ancient Heart with his Amethyst Rock Star. Find it, listen to it, love it.]