Thursday, December 03, 2009

Ten Great Songs 2009 #1: Rising

A few years ago, I went to see The Marriage of Figaro. Not my favourite opera, but related at least. It was a pleasant enough experience, but I wasn't all that impressed by the supertitles projected above the stage. I'd seen foreign movies, so I was prepared to read and watch at the same time. I wasn't, however, prepared for how pedestrian the libretto seemed when translated to English.
I get what Opera is trying to do with the supertitles, and I appreciate that they're trying to broaden the audience and democratize the artform. But, geez, I like the mystery! What's obscure and unknowable is half the appeal! I don't want quotidian Opera, I want it so grand that I can only respond to it on an emotional level.
So I was a little worried when I noticed a number of English-language songs on Lhasa de Sela's new album, Lhasa. Her previous albs were mostly sung in Spanish and French, and though I understand French, I often choose not to. Luckily, Lhasa didn't flake out on me. The album is a country & western album in about the same way that Leonard Cohen's Various Positions is a C&W record. "Rising", written with Patrick Watson, is a great song.

mp3: "Rising" by Lhasa de Sela

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