Saturday, February 26, 2011

Judee Sill - Heart Food (1973)

In 1973, Judee Sill succeeded in creating what every artist aspires to create: a perfect work. Her album Heart Food is the musical embodiment of love and beauty. Every song on this album has an immense amount of soul; it’s just overflowing with it. It caresses you ever so gently and brings about an aura like sitting beside a fireplace, wrapped in a blanket on a cold night with a lover. Often endowed with subtle religious undertones, Heart Food is pure, tender, supple, and amorous; something truly special.

I’m sure if there was ever a study done, it would be scientifically proven to release an abnormal amount of serotonin in its listeners' brains. Orchestrated and arranged by Judee herself, the nine plus minute long closer is one of the most gorgeous and moving musical compositions ever written, and a testimony to her talent as a composer as well as just a singer/song-writer. It manages to encompass the entire emotional spectrum in just over nine minutes and to call it epic or breathtaking of transformative would be an understatement. The glorious postlude ends on an upbeat note with a Celtic sounding waltz, to kill any elegiac feelings it might have evoked with its tempestuous, flowing, layered, choral melodies.

You can tell just from the warmth of her music that she was a truly amazing, affectionate woman. Her personal struggles with drug addiction that eventually led to a tragic overdose were very unfortunate, as the world was robbed from not only her albums that never got made, but from a wonderful human being. Even though she took a break from writing music to pursue a career as a cartoonist (my kinda woman), she was working on a third album which never got officially released (although some years later, many of the demos showed up on a compilation of sorts, Dreams Come True, mixed by Jim O'Rourke). Sill’s second and final album stands as her swan song, and what a song it is.

Rating: 10/10


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