It was the perfect soundtrack to my decadence.
I was never a big royalist but I remember turning on the studio TV in the early hours to hear about Lady Di's accident in Paris. One of Bert's band howled "die bitch' at the screen and we nearly engaged in fisticuffs. I crawled back to the sanctuary of my couch and remember this feeling like the most sorrowful, enveloping music ever, oddly appropriate for my unexpected grief; particularly the end song, a graceful elegy; the hymn 'Amazing Grace'.
Could be a Neil Diamond moment but it's not...
These otherworldly tunes are benefit of Lanois' Quebecois heritage. There's the trademark swampy ambience married with a startling intimacy in these folk tales, told in both French and English. Recorded in New Orleans in 1989, this is a musical connect between the a long lost Acadian way and the surviving Cajun culture that still thrives just on the other side of the bayou...
Layers of shimmering sound insinuate and then retreat for raw, untreated moments of transcendent beauty.
I'd rather not try and demystify the magic here.
This sits sweetly with the recent albums that cited sound over substance as their justification for featuring so highly on my list of beloved music.
And I love this album's sound; I just press play and disappear.