The low spark of the high life

Today brought a rainy, foggy day to our corner of Wisconsin. I met a friend for lunch in Appleton, a half-hour south, and that trip provided a perfect opportunity to listen to Steve Winwood’s new album.

After being teased with a couple of cuts a couple of months ago, the CD finally arrived in the mail the other day. It certainly was worth the wait.

As I listened to the nine cuts on “Nine Lives,” I was struck by their timeless elegance. It’s classic Winwood. Its tunes could have been among his ’70s output with Traffic or his ’80s solo work.

This is not a guy trying to reinvent himself or trying to keep up with what the kids are listening to. This is a mature artist — Winwood turns 60 later this month — secure in himself and his work, taking the natural next step.

You’ll hear Winwood’s high tenor and Hammond B-3 organ on every cut, seemingly not aged a day. He sets the tone and Karl Vanden Bossche’s terrific world-beat percussion drives it along.

“Raging Sea” and “Secrets,” both from “Nine Lives,” Steve Winwood, 2008.

“Raging Sea” is a song of separation from a loved one and hopes for being reunited. “Secrets” is lighter, if you can say that about a song about a spy or a gun dealer.

3 Comments

Filed under May 2008, Sounds

3 responses to “The low spark of the high life

  1. Curt

    Wow…only five in your digital collection huh? OK here goes.

    1) Low Spark of the High-heeled Boys
    2) Mr. Fantasy
    3) Feelin’ Allright
    4) Who Knows What Tomorrow Will Bring
    5) 40,000 Headmen

    Honorable Mentions: Heaven is in Your Mind, Paper Sun, and Shanghai Noodle Factory

  2. I’ll go with:

    1)Low Spark Of High-Heeled Boys
    2)Dear Mr. Fantasy
    3)Light Up Or Leave Me Alone
    4)John Barleycorn
    5)Empty Pages

  3. Raging Sea sounds like a fantastic tune to relax to on a hot summers day.

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