Soothing Jazz


Album: Killing Me Softly (1973)

The Grammy nominated album of the year Killing Me Softly from Roberta Flack was a heartbreaking one. The artist, Robert Flack, was a jazz, R&B, soul type of singer. Her songs are mainly to tell stories. During one if her performances when she performed Suzanne, which was a song from this album, and she said, “This song tells a story. There are not a lot of songs today that tells stories.” While listening to this album of hers, especially the first song, Killing Me Softly With His Song, I felt like she was just telling a sad story with a lullaby. The lyrics of the songs may not be fancy and all poetic, but can be easily related and may sound simple yet beautiful. Sometimes it makes me wonder. How can this person know exactly how I feel and put it in such a beautiful way? I mean, there will always be times when we feel horrible and certain songs that we listen to could totally relate to us. Although the album lost to Stevie Wonders during the Grammys of 1974, the main song from this album, Killing Me Softly With His Song, won the record of the year and also got her the best female pop vocal performance of the year.

The album contained mostly soft soothing songs, which was the genre she usually sings. For this album, some did criticize her for “putting people asleep”, due to the mass ballads and her way of singing the songs. For some people they may sound like lullabies. The third track of the album, No Tears (In The End), was different. It’s not a typical soft ballad, yet a soothing jazzy song that would probably be something people would enjoy and nod along to. It’s got a beat and she’s got the rhythm, the voice and the feel.

The seventh track of the album, When You Smile, is another surprise from this album. It doesn’t have amazing lyrics or anything that’s specifically particular but it’s beat is very different from the other songs of this album. This song is very easy to remember, with all the “lalalas” in the song. It’s very easy to get this song and to sing along with it. It would be one of those songs that people could catch easily and would sway along to. This album might not receive positive comments from everybody, but would be one of Roberta Flack’s top albums in my opinion. It made her the only solo artist to receive the Grammy’s award for the record of the year for two consecutive years, even now. This album is totally recommended, especially those who are feeling down and need to take a moment to think things over.