Sunday, 13 July 2014

Musique De Détente

It seems like ages since I’ve had a holiday. My trips to Oman in December and May simply do not count because that involves lots of work, virtually no sightseeing and little free time.

Thankfully, we are off to France on Tuesday, a visit to Nice and the surrounding area with, of course, Mrs PM and this time my eldest lad, Stephen, and his girlfriend. We aim to take in places like Cannes and Monte Carlo as well as some time relaxing by the beach.

I can speak a little French but thankfully I won’t have to humiliate myself too much as Mrs PM speaks the language extremely well, having studied it at university, during which time she spent a year in Toulouse.

I will write a more detailed post on my return but in the meantime, I thought I would leave you with a couple of songs that I like to listen to when relaxing on the beach in the sunshine (well to be brutally honest I will almost certainly be under an umbrella and covered from head to toe in high factor sun tan cream lest I end up like this ).

The songs are all really what I would class as chillax music, chillax being a word that seems to have been invented to combine the words chill and relax – a tautology that is perhaps unnecessary but kind of sums up that feeling of drifting away with the heat of the sun, the cool breeze and the gentle lapping of waves on a beach.

All the songs are beautiful in my opinion.

I hope you like them too.

Enya – Caribbean Blue

This song by Enya sums up perfectly the feeling of being on a beach holiday. Whenever I hear it, I imagine sitting on a hill overlooking a beautiful cloud free sky over a lapis blue sea with the waves crashing on an untouched and unspoilt beach.

Air – Redhead Girl

While this song doesn’t conjure an idyllic image of a beach in the sun, the beauty of the music helps to soothe my troubled mind. It’s one of those songs that erodes stress and allows me to put my worries into a crate and cast it adrift onto a sea, hopefully never to be seen again.

Porcupine Tree – Sentimental

Steven Wilson is, at the moment, my favourite musician; he is the brains behind Porcupine Tree and has released, one of my favourite albums of the last couple of decades. While he is really a progressive rock superstar, he has written some incredibly mellow and moving songs in recent years. This song is simply wonderful and again is a stress killer.

Madonna – Swim

Shock! Horror! The Metal-loving Mancunian has posted a Madonna song. I don’t care! I love the album Ray of Light simply because it has some great songs, most of which are smooth peaceful numbers that are extremely delightful. This song is one that makes me think of floating on my back on a gentle sea. How more relaxed can you get than that?

 Morcheeba – The Sea

The song does exactly what it says on the tin. Play the song and you will see exactly what I mean and the reasons why I love it. I kind of want to leave my soul by the sea. Maybe one day I will.

Empire of the Sun – We Are The People

Picture the scene.

Mrs PM and I sitting in a pub with me ranting about the dreadful pop music that landlords insist on playing at a volume so high that we can barely hear ourselves think. I was in mid rant when the next song came on – this very song in fact – and I simply closed my mouth in shock.

“Oh I suppose you hate this one too,” said Mrs PM.

“No,” I said, “this is bloody brilliant!”

This is one of those rare songs that cross the vast divide between my taste and Mrs PM’s taste, and that is a magnificent achievement itself.

Joe Satriani – The Golden Room

Joe Satriani is my favourite guitarist and he is technically flawless. He’s not a bad songwriter either. While this song is slightly less mellow than the previous offerings, the Indian percussion adds an exotic flavour to the wonderful guitar and it is this combination that allows me imagine travelling through weird and strange landscapes.

Moby – Rushing

This song is simply beautiful and absolutely dripping with positivity. I challenge anyone to listen to this and not feel better by the end of it.

Steven Wilson – Deform To Form A Star

This is Steven Wilson’s second contribution to this post, this time from his second solo album rather than from Porcupine Tree. As a solo artist, he has expanded beyond the constraints of the band and this song is a fine example of his unrestrained genius. Deform To Form A Star is an absolute masterpiece. Listen to it and feel your traumas dissipate with each note.

Nine Inch Nails – Find My Way

I think this song sums me up, perfectly.

Trent Reznor has definitely mellowed over the years from the angry young man of the late 1980’s. The change is evident in Find My Way, a song from his most recent album, a hauntingly beautiful song that is a guaranteed stress killer.

At the age of 51, I am still trying to find my way although I am getting much closer as I get older so this sums me up pretty accurately.

I simply love he song and it inspires me to make a greater effort to find my own way.

And Finally …

C'est ça! I hope you find the songs agreeable and I would be interested to hear which songs you would recommend to add my chillax playlist.

Au revoir and see you in a week or two.


Pandora Behr said...

Morcheeba - Part of the Process trumps this. Great idea for a post. MInd if I rob it? Like it (Ray of Light is one of my favourite albums too)

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Pand,

Part of the Process is a good call but I prefer The Sea.

Steal away!




River said...

I listened to a few of these, but had to stop each one. What you call chillax is the sort of stuff that has me saying where's the door? Let me out of here!

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

That's OK. I don't expect all people to agree with me; it would be weird if that happened.