Joanna Newsom – Good Intentions Paving Company.

I read the Drowned In Sound Forums far more than I should. One could say it’s an addiction with no negative side effects. The positive effects are discovering new music, well, new to me anyway.

Very recently a thread that captured the imagination asking ‘You can only listen to ONE album for the rest of your life’ was started. Immediately I thought of Paul’s Boutique by the Beastie Boys. It was the first album that sprang into my tiny brain, and ones first take is usually the right one?

The great thing about that thread was the other suggestions. One contributor suggested ‘Have One On Me’ by Joanna Newsom as it was a triple album with layered depth. I thought that’s one great recommendation thinking how much hidden depth Paul’s Boutique has. I listened to the whole album (Have One On Me) twice and thought, well, that it was just very good, nothing extra remarkable though.

The music of Joanna Newsom made me think of Kate Bush, and artist I respect but not am overly keen on.

After listening to the album I figured I’d check out a live performance on YouTube. This is where it all took on extra dimensions. With the hindsight of just becoming familiar with some of the songs, the live performances are nothing short of being totally charming.

The performance of ‘Good Intentions Paving Company’ made me think of that charming plod The Beatles had. Gone was my initial Kate Bush assumption. The music flowing through the artists expressions and bodily jaunts almost evokes a folk Michael Jackson – I’m getting too deep here. After plugging my MacBook into a speaker and hitting the volume dial the YouTube video made me begin to actually smile. Then, whilst enjoying the music the look on the artists face actually made me, properly, laugh out loud, not in a mickey taking way either but more that the music was so earnest. The performance, the song and its all-together joyous feel and delivery was beyond charming and actually seemed more like some kind of life affirmation thing. Maybe I’ve drunk too much coffee, hit play, I feel anyone will love this…

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