Sandi Thom – Smile… It Confuses People

Sandi Thom became what is referred to as an “internet sensation” in 2006 when she streamed live over 21 nights from her basement flat.  I was unaware of theSmile...It_Confuses_People_cover controversy that overshadowed this publicity and led to her getting a lot of flak, but I was more interested in her debut album as I loved the title and the debut single that went to number one.  She reminded me of KT Tunstall as apart from them both being Scottish female singer/songwriters they both have a guitar-based folk-ish sound with catchy hooks.  As a debut album I think the lyrics aren’t as mature as KT’s, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s quite a short album for the morning tube ride but its upbeat and a nice listen.  Sandi is one of those artists that I should really catch up with to check out her her newer stuff.

Standout track: Little Remedy

Paul Simon – Graceland

I can’t remember when I first got into Graceland. It certainly wasn’t in the 80’s when I Graceland_cover_-_Paul_Simonwas much more into dance music and rave culture!  The singles that charted give a flavour of the South African musical contributions and influences of this album, but the real gems sit on the album itself.   Simon’s lyrics are cleverly constructed but it is the musical and vocal performances that make this album worth listening to.  The drums, percussion, accordions and guitars create rhythms and tunes that are uplifting and joyful, even when the lyrics aren’t quite so.  The harmonies are just great and are wonderful to listen to.  If you haven’t listened to Graceland and “world” music isn’t your thing then you should give it a listen if you want something different.  It still holds up fantastically after 30 years.

Standout track:  Under African Skies