Monday, August 15, 2011
Albums2010 #47: Tapestry
I have a confession to make, kids: my knowledge of Carole King is limited to the theme song for 'Gilmore Girls' and her guest appearances as the somewhat irritable owner of the Star's Hollow Music Shop, Sophie. But there's much more to Carole King than meets the eye. Take every female sing songwriter you've ever heard of and the Mother Guru of all them would be Carole King, the first, the original, the pioneer of the idea of the solo female singer-songwriter- and Tapestry is probably her finest hour.
But, before she got to Tapestry, she had already built a long and impressive resume as a songwriter, as one half of the writing team of Goffin and King- churning out her first number one 'Will You Love Me Tomorrow' at the age of 18 in 1961 (it was sung by The Shirelles) she went on to write for bands like Strawberry Alarm Clock and The Executives and having a fruitful working relationship with James Taylor who encouraged her to record her own album.
Tapestry... wow. I don't even know where to begin- I literally logged into Spotify, started from the top, turned up the volume and just relaxed to it. I'll be honest- I fell asleep it was such a beautiful, mellow, jazzy pieces of piano driven pop. From the word go to the end of the album, there's nothing out of place, not one clunker of a song or anything that doesn't sound, well, pretty damn good to the ear.
It opens with 'I Feel The Earth Move' followed by the melancholy 'So Far Away' and the blues infused piano perfection of 'It's Too Late.' Fans of James Taylor will recognize 'You've Got A Friend' a few tracks later and fans of Gilmore Girls will recognize the track after that, 'Where You Lead' and of course an entirely different take on 'You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman'- so much different from the Aretha Franklin version that I had heard. There's also another version of 'Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow'... This album turned out to be one of the most successful albums of all time- and there's a very good reason for that.
Overall **** out of ****: One talented woman and a piano take on the world and succeed! This is piano drenched songwriting goodness at it's best.