Pin It
Favorite

CD Review-Langley School 

by Tiina Teal


Some albums take you by surprise, leaving you a little bit changed for the better. Innocence and Despair does just that, subtly grasping you by the hand and guiding you on a lovely, lo-fi, majestically imperfect journey.


The Langley Schools Music Project is a collection of cover songs, originally recorded in the mid-1970s, by a chorus/band of rural Canadian school kids with little musical training but lots of soul. What they may have lacked in skill they more than made up for with sheer truth and youthful enthusiasm. But what also makes these kids' renditions different than any others is the emotional honesty and joie de vivre spirit that infuses each song. David Bowie's "Space Oddity" is a beautiful, crashing interpretation complete with not-quite-on timing, cascading electric guitar and an admirably eager drummer. Langley Schools' plaintive, haunting expressiveness on "Desperado" puts the Eagles' version to shame, with the lead vocalist sounding like a world-weary angel.


The use of Orff xylophones, National steel laptop guitar and varied percussion instruments adds a fourth-dimensional, atmospheric quality to the music. There is something intangibly melancholy about this music and the way it is performed by these children, making you want to mourn the loss of innocence and the despair at growing up that they so perfectly express through these songs. I found myself alternately weeping, laughing and sitting in stunned silence that these kids could channel such purity and unexpected grace. With accolades (among many others) from David Bowie and John Zorn, Langley Schools Music Project is an experience for anyone interested in what the heart of music sounds like.





Want to recommend a CD? Let us know at [email protected]
  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

  • The Trumpenstein Monster
  • The Trumpenstein Monster

    Publisher's Note
    • Jul 22, 2015
  • Beware, Be Ready
  • Beware, Be Ready

    Simple, sensible precautions can make all the difference when "the big one" hits
    • Jul 22, 2015
  • Who Do You Trust?
  • Who Do You Trust?

    Republicans are howling about the Iran nuclear treaty, but after a century of bad advice, should we even listen?
    • Jul 22, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Moscow ArtWalk 2015

Moscow ArtWalk 2015 @ Downtown Moscow

Tuesdays, Thursdays, Sundays. Continues through Aug. 31

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Tiina Teal

  • Burn Baby, Burn!

    You notice that the temperature seems to have dropped about ten degrees in the room and a chilling silence rings in your ears. Strange shadows dance beyond the corners of your eyes. Suddenly, you feel a cold hand slide up your shoulder and a
    • Mar 14, 2002
  • CD review - Roland Orzabal

    The title of this album is somewhat misleading, gracing us with exactly the opposite of the proposed experience, but perhaps also symbolizing how many of us in the world are feeling at this moment. Tomcats Screaming Outside is a beautiful
    • Jan 3, 2002
  • CD Review Tool/Lateralus

    The silver cord that has tentatively linked all Tool albums (including Lateralus, their latest aural enigma) is an underlying longing for release and reunion with some version of divinity. Here, singer Maynard James Keenan charts more hopefu
    • May 30, 2001
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Patrolling While Black

    Gordon Grant's nearly 30 years as a Spokane cop have been affected by race, but that's not the whole story
    • Jul 8, 2015
  • Rushing's Rant

    The Airway Heights City Council has asked the mayor to resign after posting a racist Facebook message
    • Jul 15, 2015
  • More »

© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation