I have been enthusiastic about Here Lies Love since I got it last week--it's loaded with a fantastic set of tracks. I haven't listened to it sequentially, and something tells me that following the blueprint will pay off. If you haven't been paying attention, HLL is a concept album (soon to be a musical production) about the life of Imelda Marcos (and the more I read about her, the more I understand why she would be an excellent subject; her quotes include "Filipinos want beauty. I have to look beautiful so that the poor Filipinos will have a star to look at from their slums"). The album is from David Byrne and BIRTHDAY BOY NORMAN COOK (working as Fatboy Slim), and this track features the vocals of Allison Moorer (an Oscar nominee about 12 years ago for one of the songs people had never heard and when it gets performed, so they go make popcorn--also she's Shelby Lynne's sister or something).
HLL is set in nightclubs around the world in the disco era of the late 70s and early 80s, but this track has an entirely different feel from most of the music. And therein reinforces the genius at work behind this album. When it first played on my morning commute the other day, I thought it was an Indigo Girls song I hadn't heard before.
Eric and I talked about the singers yesterday. I'd been wanting to make a point that there was no one "super famous" like Christina Aguillera or Fergie, and he wondered why Annie Lennox wasn't on here. The voices are so nicely paired with each song that I feel like they cherry picked singers, going for quality over name recognition--it would be great to know if they approached singers who said no, or if they really thought of Moorer specifically for this track, because she rocks this shit. So much that I'll be looking for her earlier albums at the library.
The Norman Cook birthday celebration continues soon...