NPR compiled a list of the 150 greatest albums created by women. I've decided to listen to these albums, from #150 all the way up to #1. But to give myself a bit of forward momentum and have a sense of when I was "done" with each album, my method is to listen to the album one time all the way through, then with each subsequent listen, I'd remove my least favorite. This lets me listen to the best ones most frequently without having to sit through too many that didn't work for me at all.
Album #148 is Terri Lyne Carrington's "The Mosaic Project." Carrington is a jazz drummer, and this album is definitely a jazz album. Some of the songs have vocals, some don't, some are originals, some are covers. This one took me awhile to get into the swing of (which is why I'm posting this blog so late). However, from this point on I'm only going to write short pieces about the top five songs on each album. Otherwise on albums (such as this) that were a tough sell for me, I'd spent most of the time griping about it instead of praising what I do like. So here were my top five from this album.
5. Transformation. This is the first song on the album, and for awhile I thought it might be my favorite of the whole thing. It ultimately became less interesting the more I heard it, but I still think it has an interesting sound and sets the tone for the rest of the album.
4. I Got Lost in His Arms. I was delighted to hear this Irving Berlin tune covered on the album. It's a smooth, interesting cover that I prefer to any of the cast album versions I've heard.
3. Echo. This song drew me in lyrically more than it did musically. Every time it came on I'd find myself paying closer attention to the lyrics because they were saying interesting things. It's one of the few songs on the album that attempts to say something larger about society, and while those songs don't always work and sometimes sound preachy, I got into this one.
2. Sisters on the Rise (A Transformation). The album closes on an unexpectedly hip-hop note, sampling the album opener and interspersing it with rapped verses and chorus. After thirteen songs of straight jazz, this was always a refreshing bit of variety.
1. Crayola. This song was dangerously close to being cut early on, but the more I listened to it, the more it fascinated me. There are some versions to be found online without vocals, but I absolutely prefer this one, as the vocals are my favorite part. They are playful and unique and varied, and I'm very glad I didn't cut it when I did, as it's turned out to be my favorite.
The albums I've listened to thus far in this project, in order:
1. The Roches - The Roches
2. Alicia Keys - Songs in A Minor
3. Terri Lyne Carrington - The Mosaic Project
Next up was supposed to be #147, "Dolmen Music" by Meredith Monk, but this is not easily available on Spotify, so I'm moving past it and will circle back around to any albums I didn't get to later. In the meantime, on to #146, "Flaming Red" by Patty Griffin.