The first few trips through the light jazz on Windblown
Kisses had me convinced that it was a very sexy soundtrack.
Both the vocals and instrumentation are whispered into your
ear and stroked into your temples. Anji Bee sings with
a sultry nonchalance that touches on Astrid Gilberto,
but more naive. The mature compositions garner respect in
themselves. The musicianship (particularly by Ryan Lum)
is demonstrated with an underplayed reserve. Lumís playing
focuses the attention on the song rather than the obviously
talented songwriter behind it. Perhaps itís because I used
the disc to combat a migraine that, after repeated spins,
some of the songs lose their shine. I interject this because
Iím certain many people will enjoy them for years despite
Lovespiralsí dumb name.
The droopy-eyed intro "Oh So Long" drags like a
day with heat waves rising from the asphalt. The poetically
named Doron Orenstein applies the sax the way it was
meant, nocturnal moaning rather than screaming. Bee plays
on the weariness, pleading for strength. The Latin "Dejame"
is another lovely path showing Lumís smartly sparse arrangements.
Adding texture -work never approaches jazz wanking indulgences.
Heís certainly only when necessary, he lets the piece breathe
on its own. Similarly on "He Calls Me", the guitar
capable of mind-numbing flashiness, but graciously he respects
us too much. The vocals resemble Everything But The Girl
with the singsong of Sixpence None The Richer. The
airy title track sounds like a song from a 60ís Euro-spy movie.
Picture a montage where a turtle-necked bloke with front-swept
mod hair picnics with a young bird wearing shades and a goofy
Itís "Our Nights" that really begins to lose me.
That old choir teacher chestnut about smiling when you sing
really does make a difference. People can tell when youíre
smiling, and I think it sounds condescending. Bee sounds like
a 70ís church light-rock singer. Evie anyone? "You
Girl" leans ever so slightly towards Mazzy Star,
save Hope Sandovalís melancholia. I get a kick out
of same-sex love songs for some reason. The sickly-sweet chorus
hits a jazzy nerve again. Sean Bowley takes lead on
the next two songs, giving a less garish Martin Gore feel.
"How The Thieves Ride" has a welcome sorrow until
its discounted-rhyme chorus coughs up INXS. While "You
Are The Gun" fares better with visions of riding into
the sunset. These beautiful trail-weary fables belong to another
time. Lumís hammered dulcimer is simple like clockwork on
"Swollen Sea." Again, Bee sounds a little too pleased
to convey the watery message. An acoustic torch song brings
Orenstein back to close out the club right. A soft rhythm
nods like a happy drunk at the plush velvet counter. During
her gentle kiss-off, Beeís words say no. But her voiceÖ
On a scale of recently re-made movies: one being The Bourne
Identity (original was better) and ten being Oceanís
Eleven (re-make was unrecognizably better), Iíll give
Windblown Kisses a seven Ė The Thomas Crown Affair.
- Oh So Long
- He Calls Me
- Windblown Kisses
- Our Nights
- You Girl
- How The Thieves Ride
- You Are The Gun
- Swollen Sea
- I Canít See You
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