I received a couple of CD's in the mail today: Enya's newest album (Amarantine), and Afro Celt's last album (Anatomic). Enya is currently in the CD drive here at work. More about that in a minute...
I recently picked up Afro Celt's Seed album, of which I can't get enough. Not only is theirs an astounding musicianship, but their songs are joyful and rich. If you like Irish jig-type music, they have one song in particular that is all acoustic instruments (including an upright bass, which is just superb) and that tune would bring the dead to dance if played graveside. The music is addictive. So needless to say, I'm excited to hear "Anatomic."
But I chose instead to listen to Enya's latest offering in over five years. And I have to say, the chords and the voicing of her keyboards sound like so many other Enya songs that I've heard before. I like Enya... but where's the experimentation and the growth? The fifth track, "The river sings," is unfortunately the shortest track, but it is the most exciting and the biggest departure for her. There are a couple of tracks that are decent, but the album feels like a retread. I don't know... I'll give it a few more spins. Maybe I need to warm up to it.
In the past year, I've purchased mostly digital music online from MusicMatch, but I'm very hesitant to buy digital music again, for a few reasons:
- If I switch computers, I have to play every freaking song on MusicMatch's software before Windows Media Player can play it. Why? This is how I obtain the license to play the song on my new computer. MusicMatch, as a media player, is buggy, so I use WMP instead. And I bought some songs through another web site and to obtain my license for those songs, it tried to ping the web site, but alas, the web site closed. About $20 down the drain - the songs are gone for me.
- MusicMatch no longer works on my computer. Do you hear that, Yahoo? (They own MusicMatch.) I've gone through tech support repeatedly to try and get the "logging and tracing manager" to stop erroring on my computer, but to no avail. The support sucks. It's email only. Some non-English-speaking goob in parts unknown repeats the same information for me. "To uninstall, go to Settings/Add Remove Software..." which I do, and then re-install and it's the same thing. What is the logging and tracing manager? Who knows, but it errors every 5 seconds. Never again will I use their service.
- I've learned that some artists don't allow me to burn their songs to a mix CD that I can enjoy in my van or at work. Bonnie Raitt does this with some of her songs, some classical artists do this, and so on. Why? Oh, to combat piracy, you know. But I'm not a pirate... I bought the music legitimately. To prevent me from burning a CD, you just leave a bad taste in my mouth, Bonnie et al, and I think less of you and your music. But there's a way around all of this nonsense...
I buy a CD. I can rip it, where it becomes digital for the rest of my life on as many computers as I own. I can copy the music folders from one computer to another without having to play every freaking song to obtain a license for that computer. The CD is a bit more money, but it's a more flexible format and that's what I want.
And with Amazon's discounts and free shipping, it's a great deal. Good songs, less hassle, and I'm a happy guy.
Now, on to Afro Celt... I'm kind of shrugging at Enya, which would make my friend, Scott, smile - he always ribs me about Enya.