Music Reviews

Timeless tunes

An Introduction to Syd Barrett is a rare treat for Pink Floyd — and more particularly, Syd Barrett — fans.  It contains a collection of 18 tracks that includes ones he composed when he was part of Pink Floyd, and those that he came out with after leaving the band. While most of them are originals, a few are remixed versions.

It begins with the timeless Arnold Layne, a song about a cross-dressing thief who steals clothes from the clothesline, and is followed by the equally brilliant, See Emily Play.
Bike charms with its erudite wordplay, while Love You has an appealing upbeat rhythm. Throughout the collection you get a feel of the sheer brilliance of Barrett’s (sometimes whimsical) songwriting skills, although at times his singing sounds like screaming .

Effervescing Elephant counts as one of the best in the collection while Bob Dylan Blues is a funny take on Bob Dylan’s poetry. Arranged as it is in chronological order, the collection also allows a sad glimpse of Syd Barrett’s unfortunate mental deterioration towards the end of his career.

Veena Pradeep

Jazz melodies

Raconte-moi (in French for ‘Tell me’) is the latest Jazz CD released by the talented American vocalist Stracey Kent.  The ability to tell a story, capture an emotion, a mood, hone it and share it like a secret with her audience; these are the qualities that make Stracey Kent so special. This time she sings all the songs in French, produced and arranged by her husband, the British saxophonist Jim Tomlinson.

The album revisits great classics of the French musical heritage. She covers some staples of the French Chanson (lyrical French songs) by Barbara, Paul Misraki, Georges Moustaki, Henri Salvador, Michel Jonasz, Keren Annet Benjamin Biolay, among others and sings some original material written by talented French songwriters expressly for her: the result is a heady cocktail of French pop and contemporary jazz.

Breezy songs like Jardin D’iver (Winter Garden), a huge hit by the late French legend Henri Salvador, and the single La Vénus du mélo are simple yet profound. The piano-laced Sait-On Jamais, the nostalgic Les Vacances au Bord De La Mer and the atmospheric Mi Amor, with some fantastic sax playing by British saxophonist Jim Tomlinson are worth listening to.

Michael Patrao

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