Friday, 27 September 2013

Daughter - If You Leave

Oh Dear!  Act in haste, repent at leisure springs to mind.  Although in my defence I did rather enjoy Daughter at Glastonbury, enough to award them second place in my Top Three for Glasto 2013.  There was something about them in a live environment that was quite beguiling but translating their slightly ethereal material to the studio has not quite worked for them.

Following their Festival appearance, I downloaded their debut album for 4AD, ‘If You Leave’ and have been listening to it on the inevitable ipod commute.  Unfortunately it has not really gripped me.  Without the visuals and expansiveness that live performance allows, their set sounds a bit flat, repetitive and devoid of any really memorable tunes, which is a bit of a disappointment, to say the least as I had great expectations for this unlikely trio.

On the plus side, Elena Tonra’s songs have a pleasant lilting quality and exquisite lyrics and each one has been beautifully arranged by fellow band members, Igor Haefeli (guitar) and Remi Aguilella (drums), but the whole is an object lesson in why everything really comes down to the tunes.  Many have argued that the lyrical content of a song is what really matters but unless you are Bob Dylan or Joni Mitchell, this is a very shaky premise.  For me, this album proves the point that unless you can write a decent tune all the production stardust in the world will not save it.

That is not to say that some of the songs are not OK but too many are a bit aimless melodically and the pace is too homogenous and too measured throughout the ten or so songs.  It needs a bit of livening up and a bit of drama added (compare with Florence and the Machine, for example) to really set it free.  Even Sade’s ‘Diamond Life’, that seminal 80s cocktail album, had a verve about it despite its mellow quality that allowed you to keep interested.  Daughter, on the other hand, have produced a beautiful sounding album that appears to have all the right ingredients, yet still does not gel

I can’t help feeling that at the moment, Daughter really ought to be a ‘singles’ band as to hear one song at a time is still quite an experience.  It is when you are forced to listen to 10 of them in a row that the impact is lost.  Perhaps next time?


And on that note, I am sad to say that I am ceasing writing my regular posts on this blog.  These last few months have been more of a chore than an enjoyment so after 7 or so years and over 300 posts I am retiring.  I may post from time to time but for now, I am taking a break.  Thanks to all of you who have read my musings and commented here.  It’s been fun.


luminous muse said...

I returned to your blog after a long absence from blogs to see you have taken a break. If it's a chore it ain't worth the trouble, given the pay.

Thank you for the all the fine words. My wife and I are forever in your debt for Nerina Pallot. She plays him every time she drives our new grandson J.J. around in the car and he sings along!

music obsessive said...

Luminous - If I have made one family happy, then it has all been worth while! Thanks for your comments over the years - and you never know, I may return!

Adrian said...

It seems the nature of the online medium - an hiatus is healthful and beneficial, even for music obsessives :)

May you enjoy time in the garden, or where e'er you be, forgetting all about the sax solo in "Baker Street"... (sorry!)

Enjoy all you do, and people will contain to visit and be charmed and stimulated by your blog. And, should you ever feel it's right, indeed, your return to writing shall be welcomed roundly!

Sláinte!! and, thanks!!

music obsessive said...

Thanks Adrian. You never know, I may return in the future. In the meantime, thanks for your comments and support.

Adrian said...

De rien. It's always a pleasure reading and chatting here.

May you enjoy some time to eat pie - and not just write pie...

best', Ad

Charlie Ricci said...

I just noticed the P. S. at the bottom of your latest post when I returned to your blog to ksee why you haven't posted in awhile. Sorry to see you stop. You were always a pleasure to read. You've got my email so keep in touch.

music obsessive said...

Thanks Charlie. I feel that I have run out of steam on this blog and am re-treading old ground. If I feel reinvigorated, I'll be back.