A sure sign of good music is that it grows on you and keeps demanding you play it again and 'Forgetting all my Troubles' by Katie Melua certainly does that.

Katie Melua is probably one of the few artists adored by both the mainstream and musos alike to the point where she has earned the right to record an album of other peoples' songs and so she embarked on her new album Secret Symphonies.

 But such is Melua's creativity she just couldn't help but write and record new material of her own and material written with her cohort and mentor for over a decade, the legendary Mike Batt.

Forgetting all my Troubles is a beautiful track for which Melua alone takes the song-writing credit for and it is a gem of a song that speaks of hope and the ability of love to warm a frozen heart (video below).

Katie has been highly successful in realising the lyrical intention of the song with sympathetic  mood in the chord structure, this is something that comes as no surprise to fans of Melua but it is always a joy to hear.

Okay now for my obligatory breakdown of the arrangement.

The first notes of the song are played on a bass with a very bouncy yet staccato line presented with a dusty EQ (a brave and bold move) followed by a very live sounding drum kit with a big snare cutting through the space created with the simplicity of the high rate oscillation on guitar tone giving effect to possible harmonic notes or at least giving the impression of harmonic notes.

A gentle Hammond organ and occasional swelling strings then settle you into the verse and act as the backdrop to Melua's immediately identifiable voice that sounds perfectly controlled and her trademark unusual yet mesmerising vibrato.

Katie Melua - Forgetting All My Troubles

Katie Melua – Forgetting All My Troubles

This all carries through to the chorus where the accent and vibrato on vocals is accentuated and padded more by the strings, simple yet most effective and not clouding the lyrical delivery this breaks like waves upon the shore at the end of the chorus with piano working as an event/counterpoint to the guitar.

Aside from the overall sound, production song-writing etc. it is always nice to hear the most unusual attraction highlights of an arrangement. And in this song it must be the way the shaker and high-hat work with the snare right up in the mix and only moving  across to the ride at the end of the song working the dynamics subtly until the final notes.

It all works as a superb rhythm section for superimposing strings onto it without the need to build the strings too much.

All in all a great song from a great album that highlights Melua and Batt's commitment to quality in all aspects of the process of making recorded music, and I have to say yet another excellent showcase for Air studios.

I give 'Forgetting all my Troubles' a rating of 9/10

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