A Long-lost Voice

This past weekend I was reminiscing about music that I grew up listening to in school and college. And I couldn’t help but laugh. This was the ’80s, you see – Rick Astley, Taylor Dayne…enough said. Still, I thought even that decade had its moments of redemption. And as that thought possessed me, a question floated in. Whereabouts is Tanita Tikaram?

With her unusual and distinct husky voice and very personal albeit often obscure lyrics, Tanita Tikaram sneaked in with her superb debut ‘Ancient Heart’ on an unsuspecting world stultified and weary of the dross that was making up most of pop music. To listen to her sing

Look my eyes are just holograms
Look your love has drawn red from my hands
From my hands you know you’ll never be
More than twist in my sobriety

on ‘Twist In My Sobriety‘, one was hard put to be believe that this here was a 19-year-old making music of a depth and maturity that veterans struggle to create. That album was studded with such other gems as ‘World Outside Your Window‘, ‘Cathedral Song‘ and ‘Good Tradition‘. She continued her singer-songwriter ways for a few more years but despite producing good records, she never could quite live up to her debut. To the best of my knowledge, the last album she made came out in 2005. Which I find so sad when I think of her hypnotic version of ‘And I think Of You (E Penso A Te)‘ on her ‘Best Of’ compilation and how it makes my hair stand on end every single time I hear it. She still had so much magic, and yet…I can only hope and pray that she makes a comeback.

Talking of comebacks, I’m extremely happy to hear Sinead O’Connor return to scintillating form with a new album which is due for release this March 5th. And from my first listening of ‘How About I Be Me (And You Be You)’ on NPR, I believe this is set to be one of the albums of the year.

A Long-lost Voice.mp3


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