Vashti Bunyan - Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind
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Vashti Bunyan
Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind

Taken from recordings made between the years of 1964 and 1967 (recorded both previous to and roughly the same time as her amazing debut Just Another Diamond Day), Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind is two CDs and twenty-five songs worth of music from Vashti Bunyan that provide a slightly more rounded picture of the rather elusive artist. Of course, Bunyan finally released her second album in 2005 with Lookaftering, but up until that point she was largely a mysterious female artist who had produced a single, highly-praised (and rightly so) recording before largely disappearing.

Although a good portion of the work on this release isn't quite the quality that her debut is, it is going to be one of those releases that's essential for fans of her work. Because of the poor recording quality on most songs, it likely won't gain a huge following outside of that base either, as just about every track is soaked in heavy tape hiss, with audible deterioration in places and crackles in others. In terms of quality, it's similar to the recent Family Tree re-release from Nick Drake, which captures early tape recordings from close to the same time period.

Thematically, Bunyan takes on many of the same subjects that she's done on both of her other albums, with love and loss and regret and relationships taking central roles lyrically in most songs. The first thirteen songs are a bit more filled out, having been recorded as singles or demos. There's some nice orchestration on tracks like the album-titled "Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind" and even the somewhat over-the-top "Coldest Night Of The Year" (which finds her singing a duet with a male singer). There are a couple songs, like the stripped-down "Don't Believe" that charm with the best of her subtle, folky gems.

The second disc of tracks is mostly just Bunyan on guitar and vocals, and like there first disc there are some standouts and some songs that sound like, well, demos. There are only a couple moments on the release that come close to those on Just Another Diamond Day, which I consider to be one of the best female singer/songwriter albums of the 1970s. That said, it does provide another small glimpse into the musical background of a singer who simply hasn't put much into the public forum. As mentioned above, it's largely for serious fans, but others will possibly find some lovely little curiosities here as well.

rating: 6.510
Aaron Coleman 2007-11-29 21:24:31