ANNIKA JAYNE’S, ‘DESERT ISLAND ALBUM’
I WAS asked to write a review about the one album I’d take with me if I were to go to a desert island. And yet, to have to pick one album only seems to be an impossible task.
This scenario didn’t come up the first time – it remains a popular question on Twitter. If it does, I am always joking that I think it’s an outrage I can’t take my Bandcamp collection with me. In theory, I could – it’s on my phone, and provided I still had a WiFi connection, it would be available to me.
And yet – wouldn’t it be great if we were forced to listen to one album only and leave the overwhelming vastness of available music of these days behind for a change? In fact, this whole desert island scenario reminds me of the good old days when I bought a record or a CD and listened to it until I knew it inside out – simply because there were no other options. It was the one album that stayed with you for some time and the songs became your best friends. At some point, you knew the song title just by listening to the first chords.
Speaking of my Bandcamp collection, however, there are quite a few gems in there. And if I go through those gems, there are quite a few I keep coming back to.
However, if I had to pick one, just one, I’d pick Angie Blue’s album, ‘One Day At A Time.’
If I knew there’d be no WiFi connection, that’s the one I’d download to take with me. This album got me when I first listened to it. On this album, Angie introduces ten songs she wrote back in the 1990s. In all of the songs, Angie’s mesmerizing voice is accompanied by just a guitar, and yet I discover something new each time I listen to it.
The songs are simple on the outside with such a sparse arrangement, and yet there seem to be many layers, especially in the guitar work which is one-of-a-kind. The melodies are unpredictable and unique, and Angie’s raw and soulful voice reflects the deep emotions of each of the songs.
It’s an album you never get tired of. In fact, you have to listen several times before you really know it well. At the same time, this whole album is so soothing and relatable. You feel with Angie as she is singing about her raw and honest emotions.
The album starts with a song that’s no longer than 55 seconds in which she sings, “Love, love and be free – Peace, peace on your mind – Love and harmony – One day at a time.”
It sets the tone for the album as many of her songs convey a feeling of deep love and caring, but there’s also deep pain and loss. She’s declaring unconditional love in Your Love when she sings, “From tonight there will be no more sorrow, no more shadow hanging over our heads.”
You feel the loneliness of a Cold Universe – a world that feels like it’s not made for you and in which it, “isn’t easy at all,” to live. Love and helplessness shine through in If Only when she’s wishing she could do something to help her friend. There’s a deep feeling of longing for her loved one in Stay and you feel how much she cares for peace and harmony in Rebel Song.
The album ends with Since You’ve Been Gone – yet another song about longing and wishing her love would come back to her when she sings, “I need your love like the flowers need the rain.”
In that song, she also sings once more about unconditional love when she reminds us that giving is more important than taking. As the last chord of Since You’ve Been Gone fades away you want to go back and listen to this album over and over again. I need it like the flowers need the rain.
When back at home, this is an album I wish existed on vinyl. If only…