Growing Season Import
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By the fifth listen or so, you will realize that all (and I do mean all) of these tunes have wormed their way into your head. If I were to tell you that my favorite tunes on this c.d. are "What Feels Like Home," "To Prove Them Wrong" and "Free at Last," you'd probably rejoin: "But what about 'Lullaby,' 'Just a Boy,' and 'After Midnight'?" And you'd have a point. This c.d. is just outstanding for its consistency.
What's it about? After first listen, you get the fact that these lyrics really are poetry. The above notes suggest that the songs are about discovering the joys of motherhood. Maybe so; but the message I get overall from them is quite different: I get the feeling that these songs are about the feelings of insecurity, the sense of the beginning of what could be terror. ("Try not to make a sound/The boys in blue have come for you" from "As For You, Raba," for example; "Can love come back to you after being dead From all those years of taking," from "Free at Last"; "After midnight in a bungalow There's a countdown to when he's having Comrades on the ground," from "After Midnight; to name but three).
But the title of the c.d., after all, is "The Growing Season." So, maybe what the c.d. is about really is the ability to grow past that feeling of dread. Consider "Dying is something we all do, Like it or not it's natural, Best that we keep it on the tip of our tongues, Talking about it might help us, When we're older" from the final track.
This album is insidious! It invades the psyche and does not want to let go. Whether the poetry or the songs, it's an album that demands and compels repeated listenings. It is also one of 2008's best. True, it didn't get any Grammy mention, or similar recognition in "Down Beat" or "Jazz Times." But it should have. 2008 was the year of the young jazz-pop singers, and Rebecca Martin is toward the top of that list. RC