Hello! I'm Jessica, from Jessica Lynn Writes, and I'm delighted Sierra asked me to write a guest post for her! My husband and I recently moved overseas, but before we PCSed over here we took a road trip across the country to say bye to our family. With summer fast approaching (and with Sierra en route to their next town), I wanted to share some of my latest favorite music with you. These albums are perfect for any occasion; I listen to them during my every day commute and we rotate through them during our frequent (longer) road trips. They're even great as background music while you're cooking, cleaning, or when you have company over.
We can't get Pandora out here, and the radio stations are....let's call them, "eccentric." So we rely on CDs and our playlists a lot. My husband and I have a thing for buying real CDs (links below take you to my Amazon store), but you can find them all on iTunes as well.
Let's start with "Let Them Talk," an album featuring Hugh Laurie. Yes, as in Mister "House" himself! I knew he played the piano and could sing, but I was shocked when I heard the CD in its entirety. It's catchy, enchanting, and his voice has a rugged charm that entices me every time I hear it. He takes traditional blues and jazz favorites and makes them unique, swanky and sexy. My toe starts tapping every time the album is on (yes, even in the car) and I picture myself in a smokey, candlelit New Orleans jazz club, sipping on a strong drink, and swaying to the beat of the music on a crowded dance floor.
I think what makes me like "Let Them Talk" so much is how honest Hugh Laurie is right from the beginning. In his liner notes he says, "I was not born in Alabama in the 1890s. You may as well know this now. I've never eaten grits, cropped a share, or ridden a boxcar. No gypsy woman attended m birth and there's no hellhound on my tail, as far as I'm aware. Let this record show that I am a white, middle-class Englishman, openly trespassing on the music and myth of the American South." On NPR he goes one step further and says he's very much aware that he's not qualified to play this music. "It's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to make a blues record."
Up next is an artist we discovered in Croatia, of all places! Her name is Caro Emerald and not only is she Dutch, but she sings in English and is fantastic. Her music fresh, unique, and deliciously catchy—it transports you to a time of swing music, jazz clubs, and pin-up girls, but sneaks in moments of modern-day tunes with a bit of hip hop thrown in for good measure. Before we ordered her album (it's a bit more than we usually pay for albums since it's imported), we checked out her YouTube videos and were instantly hooked. Not only does she look the part of a classic pin-up girl, but I was smitten by the live band she performs with and her overall vibe. I can't get enough of her!
Jason Mraz is at it again with another captivating album. However, before you get too excited, "Love is a Four Letter Word" isn't like his other albums. While I miss (and was not-so-secretly hoping for more of) his usual suggestive word play, these songs sound more real and displays how much he's grown as an artist since his first few albums. He takes his words to a deeper level and it's apparent in each song. I don't know if any of these songs are getting any airplay back in the states, but I recommend this album if you've been a fan of Mraz since the beginning—it's always daunting when an artist you've grown up with has a new CD out, but this is quickly becoming a favorite.
Norah Jones has a soft spot in my heart—she's always been one of my favorite artists and her album "Come Away With Me" is something I listened to constantly while my husband and I dated. Her new record, "Little Broken Hearts" is full of music you want to listen to on a rainy day. Don't let the punk-rock look gracing the cover fool you: this is a typical album for her—soft, easy-to-listen-to tunes with her usual sultry voice leading the way. In keeping with her traditional vibe, "Little Broken Hearts" goes a step beyond her traditional sound and adds a bit of a vintage tone, making each track sound even more seductive than usual.
So there you have it, my favorite current albums! Do you own any of the CDs I mentioned? What are you listening to these days?
Thanks Jessica, I don't think I've listened to all of those albums so I'll have to check them out!