Obsessed with Annie

There are dozens of exceptional singers and hundreds of superior record albums, but even the most beloved albums seem include an underwhelming dud or two among the Really Good Stuff.

Only occasionally does an artist or a group will release an album packed with purely Primo Stuff on it.  Every track is better than good and, best and rarest of all, there isn’t a stinker in the bunch.

The Beatles were perhaps the first rock group to achieve this feat  (Rubber Soul comes to mind, although I haven’t listened to that album for three or four decades now). Streisand did it with (among others) Classical Barbara.  And back in the late 1980s, I remember perseverating for many months with obsessively repeated playings of Anita Baker‘s second album, Rapture.

Since that time, I’ve enjoyed a lot of great music, but I can’t remember the last time I’ve spent virtually every other morning hopping around my living room to the same album.

For whatever reason, this time around it’s been Annie Lennox‘s Diva. I think it’s been in my CD turntable since before this past Christmas – I just never want to remove it, even though of course I’ve added and subtracted several other CDs since then, and have had Diva lying around for many years before I suddenly became obsessed with playing it.

I just can’t get over how well-produced and perfect each of the songs on this album is. Lennox is hardly an obscure singer, and she’s released numerous other albums, including a recently-released compilation, but in my opinion Diva stands out above the rest. (In fact, selected tracks from Diva make up a large portion of the compilation album).

At any rate, I heartily recommend Diva. If you don’t own this album yourself and would like to learn a bit more about Lennox before plunking down the cash for Diva, there’s an excellent Wikipedia article about her life and works, and this wonderful Eardrum mashup video created to celebrate Lennox’s compilation album.

What albums have – or at some point in your life did have – this kind of can’t-seem-to-get-enough-of-it status in your life?

I’m not talking here about your favorite singers and their “Best Hits” albums, but about specific albums that you listen to over and over and over. It doesn’t matter what kind of music you’re partial to, or how old the album is: I’d love to know what your most treasured albums are – or once were, even if you have a current fave. (And I’d love to hear about that album, too!)

The White World

Yesterday’s afternoon snowfall is still casting its spell this morning, as the scary-looking roads that froze over last night have made the neighborhood even more pedestrian-friendly than usual. I don’t remember when I’ve ever sensed such quiet. All I could hear as I was crunching around the neighborhood this morning taking photos were birds chirping and squirrels chattering. The occasional airplane, too, but no cars! Too bad this will all vanish by noon.