The Week in Music with David P. Weber
16/10/2013 , 7:15 PM by David P. Weber
Plunge is a collaboration between singer Meryl Leppard and pianist/songwriter Scott A. Walker.
No, not THAT Scott Walker, this one is Australian..
Although, and interestingly, there are elements of Scott Walker’s avant classical approach in this wonderful album, if more tuneful and approachable.
Scott A.’s piano is occasionally cushioned by an orchestral bed.
It costs a bit to properly record an orchestra these days..
Yet closer inspection reveals the orchestral accompaniment is created via samples from the Vienna Symphonic Library.
A moment of puritanical outrage is salved by the free recognition that this is how things are done these days.
And when the end result is as beautiful as this, who can argue?
You gotta be good to pull off something spare and stark like this, and Plunge does it so well.
Two tracks of expansively lilting music make way for the jazzier scat of ‘Total Babe’, which pulses across a waterfall of urgent notes.
The cinematic but aching ‘I Cried No Tears’ sets a new benchmark in torch songs while ‘Unresolved Sexual Tension’ is (thankfully) not as edgy as the title suggests.
With ‘Baby Jane’ and the particularly smoky ‘Sex Object’ following up, this LP could be considered a finely tuned accompaniment to certain activities..
The rest of the album, from ‘My Kind Of Lonely’ through to ‘Pussycat Girl’ ranges from the glorious to the sublime.
The last four tracks could justifiably be considered one single flowing piece.
Hear Leppard twine her spectacular voice around timeless lyrics..
“It’s too late baby, it’s just too late,
Don’t think that you can charm your way into my heart,
Tell someone who cares, tell someone who cares”
‘When Is That Day’ is saved from melodrama by a rush of notes courtesy of Walker’s busily lithe fingers.
Indeed, on the closing track, ‘Pussycat Girl’, Walker produces a heart-churning raindrop run which leaves you wanting more.
So you simply play it again, and immerse.
The only drawback for this album, if there is one, could be that it’s hard to know how it would be categorized.
It’s Pop and Classical and Jazz and New Age and even Cabaret.
If there were a category called Quite Brilliant Contemporary, Plunge would be placed towards the front.
I want to say ‘take the Plunge’ but it’s the title of the first track, so I’ll just leave it there.
Let the music speak for itself.