So many well-known albums turn 30 this year and Steve Taylor-Bryant and Susan Omand travel back to 1990 to revisit some of the sounds of their youth that made parents shout "Turn that noise down!" This week, Steve remembers The Sweet Keeper...
Tanita Tikaram is one of those artists I’m instantly drawn to. Whatever the label or genre of music if it has vocals I want something that stands out, something special, something that makes my gut and brain agree. I like the non-conventional voices, Bjork is a favourite, Tori Amos, Stevie Nicks, you get the picture. Tanita Tikaram is one of those voices.
The Sweet Keeper came out as I was playing in a brass band and having jazz drum lessons alongside my rock stuff so album opener Once and Not Speak is beautiful memory full of beautiful brass sounds and jazz drum licks. Thursday’s Child with its folk pop sound and great use of violin (a sentence I will never write again) is one I remember really well from 1990, I owned this album on cassette and played Thursday’s Child whenever I was away from Skid Row fanatic friends who just wouldn’t understand how wonderful this song is. The melody, the gorgeous strings, Tikaram’s voice, lyrics like:
“I don't want to hurt you
I just want to join in
This is a kindly creamer
A kindly crematorium”
Just bloody marvellous. The melodic acoustics of It All Came Back Today followed along with the very pop sounding We Almost Got It Together which leads into Consider The Rain which is very reminiscent of an Eric Clapton ballad. Sunset’s Arrived is musically interesting but I remember being less bored back in the day, maybe it sounded fresh then but repetitive today? I don’t know. Little Sister Leaving Town is another beautiful ballad with interesting little licks throughout and perfectly complements Tikaram’s voice. One of the best on the album. I Owe All To You has a synthesised Pogues feel and I wasn’t sure of the song in 90 and I’m still not but cannot say it’s bad, I just don’t think I get it. Love Story is another that is musically beautiful with excellent singing and the album ends with Harm in Your Hands which with its understated organ sound is just wonderful and ends a mostly great album really well.
Image - Amazon