THE FINEST THING (Meta) Lori Carson
Still your engines. The slow, quiet luxuriance of Lori Carson's music will disentangle some of those crossed wires, and may show you some others, underneath.
The loud, rude world has made me fond of quiet singers. Lori Carson calls these songs "meditations." In fact this record has much more in common with Brian Eno's Music for Airports than any kind of songwriter record I've ever heard. She is quite unto herself and highly regarded--this is Lori's sixth solo record, she also recorded seminal trip hop music with The Golden Palominos in the early 90s, and has appeared on numerous projects by Bill Laswell, Slang and others. Quite a few of her songs have been featured in films and on TV. In fact Rykodisc put out a record called Stolen Beauty last year that compiled a dozen songs by the artist that were featured in or written for TV or film.
(Speaking of film, there is a video of a song called "Clean Getaway" at the artist's website that you should see if you've read this far. We also linked here to the page on photographer/filmaker John Huba's site where you can see it in a different format.)
The Finest Thing is very valuable to me because it's one of those records that epitomizes the right and the necessity for real artists to go their own way in this me-too world.
Aside from the singularly nymphal vocals (by the artist but also many background tracks, frequently by Ayako Hirakata), the disc is made of undulating, pulsing keyboards, sometimes fingerstyle guitar, spare but significant electric guitar (by the artist or Paul Pimsler) and soft trumpet by Scott Tweedle. On "Coney Island Ride," Brady Rymer plays acoustic guitar.
Meta Records seems to specialize in spiritually-oriented music, quite an unusual outfit that needs to be investigated. One of their releases joins the spoken word of His Holiness the Dalai Llama with premier soundscapist Bill Laswell and trumpetist Toshinori Kondo, a record called Life Space Death. That we must hear, and hope to review it in the near future.
We thank Todd Beckwith of NYC for turning us on to this wonderful artist, and we're eagerly awaiting the arrival of several of her other releases. Enchant yourself with the sounds and songs of Lori Carson on our Listen page, and buy The Finest Thing, here. FG