Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

Compass – Jane Taylor [#296]

on April 20, 2015

41-Bz6piNsL I’ve just learned from that know-it-all friend we all have called Wikipedia that in January 2011, Compass won Best Album in the Singer-Songwriter Category at the 10th Annual Independent Music Awards – well there you go something new every day eh? I also learned that that happened when the album was re-released after her pregnancy coincided with the first release. This all makes sense, as I remember her say on 26th August 2009 when I saw her play in Bilston that she was only just back at work after having a baby.  I took the date for this from my own spreadsheet, but I’ve just discovered it listed on Wikipedia too, which is slightly disappointing, what is the point in me keeping meticulous records if Wikipedia does it too? The reason I recorded it is I keep a spreadsheet of all the Ezio gigs I have been to since March 2003, and the one and only time I have seen Jane Taylor perform was supporting Ezio.  Support acts can be a bit hit and miss, sometimes I have gone only to see the support, other times I have arrived late to miss a support I had no interest in.  Luckily on 26th August 2009 my friend Amanda and I arrived in good time to see Jane Taylor play, because I bloody loved it.  I bought Compass on the spot, and have played it regularly ever since. I can’t say the same for her other album Montpellier, which I really didn’t rate at all, but that is just how it goes sometimes. So what is it about this album that makes me love it so much?  Maybe it talks to me of all those feeling that make up the human condition, all those moments you think and feel too much when you are awake in the middle of the night? I find the first track, Cracks, astonishing.  The combination of the soaring lyrics and strings create an enveloping sound.  I think this is my favourite of all her songs. Hallelujah, about the death of a grandmother cannot fail to make you think of your own grandparents.  It paints such an accurate image of childhood impressions of old relatives; carpet swirls, singing, jewellery and inherited resemblances. The title track, Compass, is stuffed with the feelings of a diminishing love affair.  Whenever I start listening to it I think ‘this isn’t one of the best’ but by the end I’m right there with her.  I think this is a particular talent of hers, drawing you in with her emotions before you realise you’ve felt this yourself, whether it was last week, last year or decades ago. ‘I’m fine’ is the song that when I heard it live decided the question of CD purchase.  I’m known for my dislike of anything “too jazzy” but this is just jazzy enough to be below the threshold for me. Sadly that one gig in 2009 is the only time I’ve seen her play live,  She’s never played locally and conveniently enough for me.   I still get the emails and hope that will change sometime in the future.

Jane Taylor – Cracks

all things change
Jane Taylor – All Things Change


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