The Listening Project- week ending 31 January

It’s been a busy in and out week this week for me, so I’ve had less time than usual to listen, so this week’s list is short.

Bluegrass Then and Now 2008 CMH Records

I was feeling on a bluegrass mood, but didn’t want to listen to any particular band. This album’s quite an interesting mix of traditional bluegrass repertoire and bluegrass renditions of pop/rock songs. I really enjoyed The Cache Valley Drifters rendition of ‘White Room’ (which is saying something given how much I adore the original!


Mavis Staples and Lucky Peterson Spirituals 1996 Universal/Decca

Another artist that I feel I should know more than I do- I’ve heard things here and there, but I’ve never sat down and listened to an album. This was a fairly classic (and safe) place to start, which I really enjoyed. Maybe the next album I’ll go for something more adventurous.


(NZ) Douglas Lilburn Orchestral Works 2006 Naxos

Douglas Lilburn- the godfather of New Zealand composition, performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. This album is a lovely mix of Lilburn’s shorter orchestral works, which is a great way to get into Lilburn’s works.


Justin Beiber Purpose 2015 Def Jam Records

Usually I’m rather behind the times when it comes to pop music (by about 10-15 years…or more!), so I thought I’d try something different this year- actually pay attention to current pop music. I decided to start with Justin Bieber because a couple of dance classes I do used a couple of pieces from this album (which I shockingly discovered I liked!) in class. This album seems a little hit and miss to me- some pieces feel like they want to be dance remixes, but the melodic/lyrical structure don’t really match with that aesthetic. On the other hand when it comes together, it really works out! What is interesting from a industry point of view is most of these songs are around the 3.30 mark- perfectly designed for radio play…



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