Album Review: I Love Your Glasses by Russian Red

Sheen says:

 

I know what you’re thinking… This is going to be a fake review of an album that doesn’t exist by a band I’ve just invented. Well, you’re wrong. It’s mostly Heen that does the lying on this Blog, though it’s true that he’s taught me a thing or two and I have been known to tell the odd fib now and then.

 

However, “I Love Your Glasses” does exist and it’s the work of a singer called Russian Red. She’s Spanish, but performs in English, which means she and I have a lot in common. Well, OK, not a lot, I mean, she’s younger and far more talented than me, for a start. I believe her real name is Lourdes, which is the name of a place in France where Our Lady put in an appearance ages ago. This has no bearing on the rest of this article except it leads me to say that I don’t think the Virgin has ever appeared to me but when I heard this CD I certainly had a vision, or religious experience if you prefer, with no offence meant, even to Enrique Iglesias fans, if there are any left. Oh, and Madonna’s daughter is called Lourdes, too, and that has no relevance, either.

 

Adjectives I want to use when describing Russian Red: quirky, wistful, fragile, tingly. I could also use these to describe Bjork, though, and nobody would say she’s similar to Russian Red. Come to think of it, maybe she is a bit – the way her voice jumps up and slips down, which sometimes makes it hard to distinguish what she’s saying. Don’t get me wrong; I quite like having to work out what she’s saying and I enjoy choosing to understand something different, like when I listen to songs in a language that I don’t understand. The songs of Aster Aweke, the fantastic Ethiopian singer, are sources of innumerable interpretations, each one as validly pleasurable as the last.

 

Russian Red sounds sad but with dimples. Her songs can be funny, with something grim just round the back. In this sense, there’s a touch of Camera Obscura. The simple guitar playing and unpretentious arrangements hide a carefully-crafted note that can easily be overlooked and from which Lourdes’ peculiar accent/voice quality seems to want to be trying to detract self-consciously. (Oh my God, my English teacher would kill me if he read that last sentence!)

 

Anyway. I was going to say something about each of the songs, but I’ll leave it up to you to go and buy this CD. It wouldn’t be the biggest mistake you make this year. And I don’t know what else to say. Heen says he quite likes it, too, but then he “quite likes” a lot of stuff but seldom commits himself. Oh well, that’s another story…

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