Her Crooked Heart
To Love To Leave To Love
Imaginative and Sincere Songs of Love, Breakup and Beyond.
I’ve struggled with this album for a couple of reasons; mostly because it’s quite a dark album and for once I’ve been in a very good mood and generally been playing bouncy music; and also when you peel back the initial veneer there’s a bit of a ‘feminist slant’ to several songs; and I’m an old man.
But; being the Semi-Professional I am, I’ve persevered and last night, Saturday it proved the perfect soundtrack to long evening skipping between a tiresome book and trawling the internet; and now (Sunday) morning it has been an accompaniment for reading the Sunday papers.
That said, this album is far from ‘Easy Listening’ or ‘background music’ …….. right from track #1 Letters, Rachel Ries aka Her Crooked Heart and her words demands your full attention and to be listened to.
Now that the songs are embedded in my psyche and having read her bio, it appears that the Multi-Faceted musician wrote these songs in the aftermath of a short lived marriage (hence the title?) with some being quite literal – Courthouse, Pleasant Valley Reservoir and Young Love Is Like Nothing quickly spring to mind; but others like Are You Good You Are and For a Song, use ingenious wording to tell her harrowing story of heartbreak and sorrow.
Every single track is differently constructed, with Loving You being sung from the heart out over a brutally plucked acoustic guitar and Enough sounding like a light-opera singer juxtaposed onto a Jazz instrumental, yet both and everything else in-between work exceptionally well; and combine to create an a multi-layered and very imaginative and complete album.
I’ve loved the challenges that this album has given me; none more so than trying to find a genre to comfortably sit it in – Folk? Not really. Rock? Certainly not. Jazz? Hmmm, probably not. But, my Favourite Song, Windswept is a prime example; as it combines a bit of everything as it just features Rachel pouring her heart over an array of intensely played instruments that conjure up some weird emotions; perhaps Her Crooked Heart has reinvigorated the much maligned Art-Rock genre…. although, this will more than likely be in the Singer-Songwriter section; and I have no real problem with that.
There’s a lot to like here; especially if you are at the end of a relationship yourself; but even if you are just a Music Lover (like what I am!) Rachel has an amazing voice that sounds a bit like Enya or perhaps even Adele (without the wizardry) and her songs, which sound quite gentle but have increasingly biting lyrics and stories remind me of Kate Bush’s first album and those early Elton John albums too; and that in itself is high praise indeed.