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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Tuesday, January 21, 2003
    What Sound

    The other joy yesterday was listening to Lamb on the headphones most of the way there and back, their sound became so addictive.

    I don't really have the language to describe Lamb's music; I'll use what the critics have said - it's chilled-out, it's brooding, atmospheric, beautiful. Time Out said of new album What Sound, "A flawless blend of baffled beats and lush, soulful melodicism." That'll do me.

    I've liked them since I first encountered them onstage at Greenbelt a few years ago; yesterday it came to me that that's partly because their music carrys a positive spirituality. So it comes as no surprise to me to find them explaining on their website that the wonderful song 'Gabriel' is inspired by Islamic religious poet Rumi, and, according to lyricist Louise Rhodes, is about "having a big love for a particular human being, where you're just very glad that they're somewhere out there in the world."

    And there is ÔJust IsÕ. The blurb calls it a song of Ôspacious beautyÕ, which Louise wrote after returning to the rudeness of modern life after her first Zen meditative retreat. In it she describes a transformation, an epiphany: ÒItÕs about the process of letting go of the idea that weÕre in control of our lives, because at the end of the day, we are just these minute creatures afloat in this huge universeÓ:
      What kind of fool am I
      reaching into a world I thought I might have changed
      Somehow rearranged
      Yet here I am
      Stepping into the night
      Like a keenly sharpened knife
      Carving holes into my life
      When I know that ...
      What is
      Just is
      What is
      Just is

      You see IÕve been somewhere
      Not far away but such a different space
      And to sit in one place.
      And just when I thought I could take no more
      The bells started to ring
      And my soul to sing
      And I know that ...
      What is
      Just is
      What is
      Just is
    (To hear Lamb tracks, click here)