SAFE IN THE ARMS OF TIME
Blue Elan Records.
Deeply Personal, Yet Smile Inducing Songs of Love, Life and Hope.
For the third time this year I’m so excited to receive an album I’m going to review it on it’s initial first couple of plays.
Perhaps it’s my advancing years but I found myself laughing at, then shouting at the accompanying Press Release when it said “In case you don’t know who Rita Coolidge is, she……….” come on chaps; if the receiving reviewer doesn’t already know who the Delta Lady is they don’t deserve a copy of her latest and 18th release, do they?
Mmmmmmm opening song Satisfied whizzed me back to those teenage days in my bedroom poring over the lyrics and photos on my brother’s copy of This Lady’s Not For Sale. Not for one moment is this a ‘throwback song’ quite the opposite actually; it just sounds very mellow as the singer pours herself into a lovely love song, seen through the wisdom of her advancing years.
That last sentence can probably be attached to The Things We Carry and the ultra passionate We Are Blood which may appeal to young lovers; but is firmly aimed at the more Silver Haired among us and will touch our hearts in a way Adele or Ed Sheeran never could.
One song in particular will catch the attention of many reviewers, and that’s Doing Fine Without You, which again pairs Rita with Graham Nash on a timeless and seamless slice of Classy Laurel Canyon Soft-Rock, who wrote the song with Russ Kunkel and immediately though of Rita; although he had no idea she was considering releasing another album.
Shame on me, but I can’t remember the last time I played a Rita Coolidge album until this morning; but listening to the way she delivers The Things We Carry over a gentle piano is spine tingling and can only come from a person who has actually lived a life that has regrets in it; but can’t be changed. A very smart song indeed.
While not a lot has changed from those early records; especially Rita’s distinctively sultry voice; the subject matter most certainly has as she now sings from a position of wisdom rather than the hope of youth; and there are stand out tracks aplenty here from that viewpoint with the duet with Keb’ Mo Walking on Water being especially wonderful and Please Grow Old With Me, which closes the album is a deeply personal yet smile inducing love song that will touch the hearts of a whole generation of Rock fans who have actually done that with not just Rita; and but our own Soul Mates too.
On only two plays it’s not been easy choosing a Favourite Track; as SAFE IN THE ARMS OF TIME is a good old fashioned AOR Singer-Songwriter Long Player that doesn’t need a 45 RPM single to promote it; but there are certainly a couple of songs that could easily fit into a late night radio show on Border Radio.
Naked All Night and We Are Blood are both timeless, tightly wrapped, well constructed stories in that vein; and the delightful Van Gogh takes Don McLean’s Vincent as a starting point and looks deeper into his life and the effect he had on those around him; but I’m going for You Can Fall In Love as my Favourite Track, as it not just covers all of the bases that I would expect from a singer of Rita Coolidge’s calibre but is a song of hope for not just oldies like me (and you?) but younger people who have failed relationships behind them and think that their future is bleak……when there is always ‘hope’ for all of us.
As happens when we get older, negative things that effect us in a million ways hit us hard every day and Rita Coolidge is no different, with the death of her sister Priscilla in 2015 possibly, with hindsight being the catalyst for this collection of songs as they deal with all of the dark emotions one deals with in such an aftermath and a house move back to her home State of Tallahassee bringing the light back into her life.
Now I’m looking forward to digging even deeper into these songs, just for fun which is a rarity at RMHQ these days.
Released May 4th 2018