Sunday, 22 August 2010

Maria McKee - Life is Sweet. An introduction

Maria McKee, Life is SweetI first became aware of Maria McKee sometime around the Spring of 1993 when I saw the video for her not-so-hit single I’m Gonna Soothe You on ITV’s The Chart Show. I have to admit, being the naive young thing I was, I was more taken with her happy smile and the frisky snails than the record itself. It was only later, when I heard the same song on the radio, that I noticed the ex-Lone Justice singer had a voice.

I mean, she really had a voice.

Then I heard her take on Goffin and King’s I Can’t Make It Alone and just the way she sang the word “always” was enough to make me hand over the money for the album. By the time Life is Sweet came out, three years later, I was a confirmed fan and the record did nothing to disabuse me of that emotion. While there were some who were alienated by the album - wanting yet another easily accessible collection of country blues songs - for me, with its jarring guitars, sweeping strings and determined psychodrama, it was by far the best thing I’d ever heard from her and remains to this day my favourite album of the 1990s.

Sadly, this enthusiasm wasn’t shared by the world at large. Despite some rave reviews, it sold poorly and led to Maria and Geffen Records going their separate ways. It just goes to show that people don’t always get the success they deserve and that, despite the album’s hopeful title, life is not always sweet.

Still, there’s that wonderful thing called the Internet, through which fans like me can express our love in ways we never could have done in the long ago past, and the hope that somehow, by a process of attrition, all resistance to Maria may one day be worn down and the whole world will come to love the album that can only be described in its own words as absolutely barking stars

That's what this blog is about. It's for me to share my thoughts on the album's various tracks and if, in that process, just one person is convinced to buy or (legally) download the thing, I'll feel my time here wasn't wasted.

And if not?

Well, like the characters in its songs, at least I'll have given vent to my obsession.

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