A sure sign of good music is that it grows on you and keeps demanding youÂ playÂ 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 SecretÂ Symphonies.
Â But such is Melua's creativity she just couldn't help but write andÂ recordÂ new material of her own and material written with herÂ cohort and mentor for over a decade, the legendary Mike Batt.
Forgetting all my Troubles is a beautiful track for which Melua alone takes theÂ 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 inÂ realisingÂ the lyrical intention of the song with sympathetic Â 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 yetÂ staccatoÂ line presented with a dusty EQ (a brave and bold move) followed by a very live sounding drum kit with a big snareÂ cuttingÂ throughÂ the space created with the simplicity of the high rateÂ oscillationÂ on guitar tone giving effect to possible harmonic notes or at least giving theÂ impressionÂ of harmonic notes.
A gentle Hammond organ and occasional swelling strings then settle you into the verse and act as the backdrop to Melua'sÂ immediatelyÂ identifiable voice that sounds perfectly controlled and her trademark unusual yetÂ mesmerisingÂ vibrato.
This all carries through to the chorus where the accent andÂ vibratoÂ on vocals is accentuated and padded more byÂ theÂ strings,Â simpleÂ yet most effective and not clouding the lyrical delivery this breaks like waves upon the shore at the end of the chorus withÂ piano working as an event/counterpoint to the guitar.
Aside from the overall sound, productionÂ song-writingÂ 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 andÂ high-hat work with the snare right up in the mix and only moving Â across to the ride at the end of the song working the dynamics subtly until the final notes.
It all works as a superbÂ rhythmÂ section forÂ 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