“Compared To What” is the new 12 track album from Sarah Jane Morris and Antonio Forcione that brings together the impressive vocal talents of Sarah Jane and outstanding guitar skills of Antonio in an innovative and heartfelt collaborative project.
Both performers have been deeply affected by events that they have witnessed on news channels, newspapers and first hand through their extensive travels around the world – refugees, migrants, displaced people fleeing from war zones and natural and man made disasters by foot overland and often by boats over treacherous waters to meet their fate not in a new land of safety but at the bottom of a treacherous sea.
This album through new songs and music that include “The Sea” and “Compared to What” carries a powerful message to anyone willing to listen, but that message is made even more poignant by the use of well known standards “Message In A Bottle”, “Superstition” and “Blowing In The Wind” as their lyrics are placed into new context and meaning by the work that surrounds them.
Earlier songs written by Sarah Jane Morris also take on new meanings when placed into the conceptual context of this album.
The new works are lyrically and musically superb, and show just how far artists can travel with a theme when they have this level of talent, and that talent extends to innovative versions of the standards that are covered on this album too. Sarah Jane’s and Antonio’s complete re-working of “Blowing in The Wind” may raise a few eyebrows from Bob Dylan purists, but a song like this has been covered so many times that doing just another straight cover version would never have worked here (we have all probably heard far too many of them). Both artists believe that if you are covering other people’s work then you must do something to “make it your own”, and they certainly do on this version.
Sarah Jane Morris is not just a singer, but a performance artist and Antonio Forcione is a hugely talented musician that plays as much from his heart on guitar as with his fingers, and this album captures that essence of both performers.
“Compared To What” will officially be launched on 26th October 2016
Review by Tom King