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The Weather Station - How Is It That I Should Look at the Stars Music Album Reviews

The Weather Station - How Is It That I Should Look at the Stars Music Album Reviews
Performed almost entirely at the piano, the follow-up to Tamara Lindeman’s 2021 breakthrough Ignorance raises dizzying questions with sensitivity and quiet hope.

Tamara Lindeman recorded How Is It That I Should Look at the Stars in a short stretch of days as the world tipped into stillness. A year after completing her stunning fifth album as the Weather Station, Ignorance, the singer-songwriter returned to Toronto’s Canterbury Music Company to put down another LP. Since 2017’s The Weather Station, she had shifted her songwriting foundation from acoustic guitar to piano, a change of framework that she expanded upon with woodwinds, strings, and tumbles of percussion. Between March 10 and 12, 2020, Lindeman recorded live from the room where she’d made Ignorance, with sax, lap steel, clarinet, and electric organ adding dashes of shimmer and glisten.

Though the ringing “Ignorance” didn’t make it to the album of the same name, that song and the rest of Stars further her questions of what possibilities remain amid clouds of uncertainty. The songs, performed almost entirely on the piano, predicate a world undergoing permanent, devastating changes, but they float with delicate sensitivity. They add more nuance to a body of work that already teems with vivid detail.

The open air of Stars occasionally feels like an echo of the early Weather Station LP All of It Was Mine, returning to lighter arrangements that place Lindeman’s details in central focus. But now with a decade of adulthood behind her, Lindeman’s perspective is steadier, less springy, more careful. The cool, fluid movement of the album recalls the quieter periods of prolonged reflection between the dramatic flushes of passion. The gravity of the piano’s hammers and the airy lift of Lindeman’s voice feel like complementary forces, glassy like reflections in clear water.

Within her songwriting, Lindeman interrogates how her attempts at understanding the world around her can become an impediment. She raises dizzying questions: What in life is worth understanding? What should just remain a mystery? On “Ignorance,” she wrestles with finding meaning and the reality that naming something beautiful is another way of restraining it. She confesses, on “Sleight of Hand,” that she’s tired of unfulfilled promises and pretending to be amused by them. “Endless Time” is surprisingly graceful and gentle in how Lindeman addresses living in what could be the sunset of humanity.

The struggles she describes extend beyond the boundaries of personal circumstances or ruling institutions: We’re uniquely limited—and increasingly unwilling—in our capacities to understand one another, which breeds situations like bellicose school board meetings and snarling trucker caravans. Throughout Stars, her songs pull focus between the common threads of all relationships, from the platonic to the political. “Close your eyes/Go ahead and pretend it is how you see me best,” she sings on “Taught.” It’s a line that could be said in the heat of an argument or written in block letters on a sign at a protest.

When Lindeman permits herself to sidestep her worries, she reveals more of the heart that she so fervently protects. On “Sway,” she turns her attention to an overflowing love, and the metacognitive “Song” shines quietly with the hum of possibility. In the closing cover of John Southworth’s “Loving You,” Lindeman transforms a slice of AM gold by her fellow Canadian into a small buoy of cautious optimism, a pledge of endurance in fragile conditions. Like so many of her songs, Southworth’s writing suits intimately attuned and wide-angle views of the world. And though she highlights a vulnerable edge in “Loving You” by veering away from the original’s percussion and layered backing vocals, she adheres to its sentimentality enough to end the album with a slight uplift.

About halfway through the record, Lindeman raises the question in its title: “How is it that I should look at the stars?” One way is to consider that, by the time they become visible to us, they may no longer actually exist. In her songwriting, Lindeman assumes a similar perspective: She illuminates the world while acknowledging the fractures, and what we might have already lost. “I swear to god, this world will break my heart,” she sings, an observation that feels more true with each passing day. But hope streaks through Lindeman’s work, a reminder that even in the darkness, there’s still a reason to look up.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
The Weather Station - How Is It That I Should Look at the Stars Music Album Reviews The Weather Station - How Is It That I Should Look at the Stars Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Monday, March 14, 2022 Rating: 5

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