I’m in Love with a Dead Woman

Damn, I wish she weren’t dead.

I was turned on to Eva Cassidy years ago by my sister who, I think, heard her on the BBC.  I bought Songbird, was suitably impressed and enjoyed the album, but that was it.

A couple of weeks ago, I felt like hearing Neil Young sing Lennon’s Imagine, and queued it up on ZunePass.  I saw Eva had done a cover of it as well, so I added that to the playlist.

From there, I discovered the six other albums that have been released posthumously – she only released one during her 31 year life.  Genre-busting, effortless, and spine tingling are the words that come to mind when listening to hear tracks.  Not all of them are winners, but she’s batting well over .800.

I think the most astounding thing is how she flits across musical styles and nails them all – blues, gospel, ballads – and can sound like a 300lb black woman on one track and a vulnerable pop princess on another.  She also doesn’t take the cheap way out on arrangements.  I think we’ve all become so accustomed to the traditional arrangement where people build the crescendo that when someone passes on the opportunity, it gives one pause (Danny Boy is a great example of this).  Her belting of Oh, Had I a Golden Thread (one of my favorite gospel songs) is just spectacular – moreso the live version which is simply hard to believe was not overdubbed.

I think the wife is tired of me playing her songs across the house – yet another reason for the remodel – she can go somewhere else in the house…

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