Monday, July 6, 2009

Album Review: Charles Spearin's Happiness Project

Charles Spearin, contributing member of Broken Social Scene and one of the founding members of Do Make Say Think, has no trouble with bringing something new to the world of music. His latest solo release aptly titled, The Happiness Project, brings such freshness to heart. He sat down and interviewed a group of friends and acquaintances around his neighbourhood in Toronto and composed frighteningly original Jazz tracks out of the melodic progressions and tones of his friends and acquaintances.

Charles Spearin explains the album in his liner notes, quoted below.
“These are my neighbours. My wife and I have two little kids and live in downtown Toronto.”
Spearin explains, “In the summertime, all the kids in the neighbourhood play outside together and everyone is out on their porch enjoying each other’s company, telling stories and sharing thoughts. A year or so ago I began inviting some of them over to the house for a casual interview vaguely centered around the subject of happiness. In some cases we never broached the subject directly but none-the-less my friends began to call it my “Happiness Project”.

From start to finish, the use of flutes, birds, trumpet, piano, harp, bass guitar, and drums, this album just makes you smile all over and takes you on quite a delightful little journey. Easily one of my favourite albums of the year, The Happiness Project, really helps you to pay attention to the very unique way that different people carry themselves and express themselves.

1. "Mrs. Morris" (download)
2. "Anna"
3. "Vittoria"
4. "Vanessa"
5. "Marisa"
6. "Ondine"
7. "Mr. Gowrie"
8. "Mrs. Morris (Reprise)"

I absolutely and indefinitely recommend that you check out this album and buy it here. It's extremely touching and a reminder of two very important things. The tingly jitters that Jazz music gives you on the inside, and how unique each human being is once you get to know them.

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