♫ Spiral ♫ contains eight of Allison Crowe’s original songs, ranging from the tender and playful country/roots of “Dearly”, to the upbeat pop of “Double-Edged Swords”, ’cross the loving “Oceans”, and darker terrain of “I Don’t Know” and the hard rocking title track. Raw, natural, emotion is embraced passionately with elegiac beauty and melody in these, and such joy-filled tunes as “Going Home Tonight” and “No Matter the Battle”. With the live track, “Wake Up”, Crowe, again, renders the personal universal, and the global, human.
Uniquely known not just as one of the most exciting songwriters of a new generation, Crowe is also one of our finest interpreters of popular song. Spiral’s mix of light and shadow includes a trio of fresh covers –
revisiting music of Annie Lennox (“Why”), Leonard Cohen (“Chelsea Hotel No. 2”), and Hunters and Collectors’ Antipodean anthem, “Throw Your Arms Around Me”.
On this new song collection, the bi-coastal Canadian, (she calls Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Nanaimo, British Columbia, home), is joined by ideally-skilled and sympathetic west-coast musicians Billie Rocha-Woods (acoustic guitar, backing vocals), Dave Baird (bass, backing vocals), Laurent Boucher (percussion), Brendan Millbank (cello) and Larry Anschell (electric guitar, and, also, Engineer/Producer at Turtle Studios in White Rock, B.C.)
Kayla Schmah, Los Angeles-based, Canadian-born, composer and film scorer, orchestrates and produces the album with, yes, "gorgeous" musical textures, and cinematic ideas artfully brought to life. Concert capturings by Engineers B.R.N. (aka Condor) and John MacMillan complete this diverse mix of music made in Corner Brook, Nanaimo, as well as Chilliwack, White Rock, Denman Island and Salt Spring Island, Canada, Vienna, Austria, and Hollywood, USA.
The visual art of Spiral matches its aural beauty - with cover paintings by Netherlands-based Tara Thelen, photographs by Canada's Billie Rocha-Woods, and California's Dan Goldwasser, fontage from Brazil’s Billy Argel and graphic design by Florida's Alix Whitmire.
Famous in its original, glorious, pop incarnation by singer-songwriter Annie Lennox, "Why" is a song recast here by Allison Crowe’s elemental voice and guitar.
“Art is emotion” observed Alfred Hitchcock, and the Canadian musician’s singular way of communicating emotion makes her one of the great interpreters in popular music today as well as one of our finest modern songwriters and concert performers.
Strings on this version are arranged and orchestrated by Hollywood film-scorer Kayla Schmah – herself an artist inspired by the themes and ideas of Hitch’s frequent collaborator, the brilliant, pioneering, composer Bernard Herrmann.
The music's visually paired with an excerpt from Jean Vigo's marvellous cinema masterpiece - "L'Atalante" (1934) – one of the most beautiful, poetically real, films ever made. Lovers of movies – of life itself - seek it out, and enjoy the full experience.
This, the second version of this song on the album, features additional string orchestration.
Composed by Annie Lennox
As Performed by Allison Crowe
How many times do I have to try to tell you
That I'm sorry for the things I've done
But every time I go to tell you
That's when you have to tell me
Hey, this kind of trouble's only just begun
I told myself too many times
Why don't you learn to keep your big mouth shut
That's why it hurts so bad to hear the words
That keep on falling from your mouth
Falling from your mouth
Falling from your mouth
Tell me, why
I may be mad
I may be blind
I may be viciously unkind
But I can still read what you're thinking
And I've heard it said too many times
That you'd be better off
Why can't you see that this boat is sinking
this boat is sinking, this boat is sinking
Let's go down to the water's edge
And we can cast away your doubts
Some things are better left unsaid
But they still turn me inside out
Turning inside out,
turning inside out
This is the book I never read
And these are the words I never said
And this is the path I'll never tread
And these are the dreams I'll dream instead
And this is the joy that's seldom spread
And these are the tears,
The tears we’ve shed
This is the fear
And this is the dread
And these are the contents of my head
These are the years that we have spent
And this is what they represent
This is how I feel
Do you know how I feel?
I don't think you know how I, why I, feel
released March 17, 2010
Allison Crowe - voice, guitar, engineer
Kayla Schmah - orchestrator, string arranger, producer