1997 In Review

Best album 1997:
Sarah McLachlan, Surfacing

Honourable Mentions:
Julia Fordham, East-West
Amanda McBroom, A Waiting Heart

Its been a good year, with many sentimental favourites releasing albums

Julia Fordham, East-West  -- long awaited, and a triumphant success.
Mary Black, Shine -- another long awaited album. Pitched at the US market and less folksy. Initially I thought it was too bright but now I think the sound is pretty good too.
Amanda McBroom, A Waiting Heart -- U-47 tubed mikes. Yeah.
Sarah McLachlan, Surfacing -- still a bit dry, but brilliant performance & songwriting.

Then there are those that have potential and need to keep trying:
Jann Arden - keep trying. LeeAnne Rimes - keep trying.

Then there were those whose 1997 albums weren't up to the mark, perhaps due in no small part to the exceedingly high standards set by their earlier albums.

Texas, White on Blonde -- fading into pleasant obscurity
Beth Nielsen Chapman, Sand & Water -- too bright, songwriting still so-so
Janis Ian, Hunger -- ain't no Breaking Silence
Joan Baez, Gone from Danger -- what, no new material?
Nanci Grifitth, Blue Roses from the Moon -- easy listening; out of new material?

Special Mentions:

Trisha Yearwood, Songbook (HDCD remastered compilation) -- this is a very good sounding compilation album, just as Alison Krauss' grammy winning compilation was in 1995. Is Nashville getting the recording right?

Holly Cole -- keeps on churning out those albums with no end in sight. Since they sound pretty good, not that I mind.

Grammies 1997

Oh dear, my favourites won. Does that mean that my music tastes are now in line with the mainstream? (and I thought I was different:)). My favourite album of 1996, A Few Small Repairs and my fav album of 1997, Surfacing won big. Congratulations to Shawn Colvin and Sarah McLachlan for winning 2 grammies each. It took both of them about 10 years (folk grammies don't count :))

Alison Krauss won again too, but no much competition in the Bluegrass category eh? Dylan won too, but just like Joni Mitchell did for Turbulent Indigo, I think the award was for past achievements as his latest clearly isn't his best work...

Also, I'm glad to see Trisha Yearwood's version of How Do I Live get the nod over LeAnne Rimes' version. Trisha's version is far better. On the MTV awards, LeAnne sounded awful, but at the Grammies, her singing clearly improved. LeAnne is young, and she'll improve, but now, we all salute Trisha.

Some US press singles (cardboard box) which my New York going friends keep on bringing back to annoy me :)

Worst Song of 1997?

Some songs are not 'bad', just 'overplayed' and 'overhyped'. Some songs are just plain bad. My Heart will go on is just plain bad. I don't listen to radio much so I was spared it. But to assess it, and perhaps give it the benefit of the doubt, I borrowed the CD from someone. While I was playing it in my office, my colleagues yelled at me to turn it off and play something good like Credence Clearwater. I didn't need much encouragement to turn it off...