Breathe It All In
|Album ||Karine |
|Label ||Young Pals Music |
|Credits ||Writers: P.J. Griffith, Ayhan Sahin |
|Explicit ||All Ages |
In the winter of 2002, songwriter/producer Ayhan Sahin asked his friend and colleague Larry Dvoskin to recommend a singer to record vocals on a song he had composed, “Forget Tomorrow.” It was never supposed to be Karine Hannah that showed up at the studio. “Just my luck, I thought at the time. The morning of the session, the singer canceled and I was left with a studio rental and no one to record the vocal,” Sahin recalls. Ninety minutes later, after an exasperated call to Dvoskin, fate stepped in. Hannah and Sahin had never met, but it was obvious two hours later that a kinship was on the horizon. Hannah says, “I immediately loved the song. The lyric was about a love gone wrong, and Ayhan’s production so perfectly captured the melancholy that surrounded it. After the first run through, I looked at Ayhan for approval and the look in his eyes was…” “Disbelief,” Sahin says, completing her sentence. “It’s a cliché, but I had found my muse.” Seven years later, the pair have collaborated on more than 60 songs and several one-off projects, but “Karine” marks the first time that their efforts have been assembled into a cohesive collection. Hannah and Sahin have forged a true partnership on the 14 songs gathered here. Hannah was born in Montreal and began singing at age 4. In her teens she started performing in professional musical reviews and on local TV shows, achieving critical acclaim across Canada. With her powerful, passionate vocal delivery, Grammy-winning producer Jim Steinman heard a demo of Hannah and called her “the best singer I have heard since Celine Dion.” Apparently, the world’s best-selling singer agreed: After seeing Hannah perform on TV, Dion asked her to perform at her wedding celebration in December 1994, accompanying a 21-piece orchestra directed by David Foster at the piano, serenading guests as they were seated for dinner. She moved to New York in 1998, and has since worked with the likes of both Steinman and Foster, Diane Warren and Rick Allison, and performed across North America, trademarked at various times as a gospel singer, rock goddess, pop diva and soul songstress. Sahin took quite a different path, earning a master’s degree in civil engineering and working for major construction firms in his native Turkey, including a year managing projects in both Moscow and Munich. But on the side—and in his heart—there was another calling. Sahin founded theatrical group Young Pals, writing full-length musicals performed by a troupe of 50 singers and actors he assembled. In addition to performances around Turkey, the group traveled to Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Holland. Print press at home hailed him as the innovator of “Turkey’s first rock opera” for his “Gods.” Sahin realized that what he most wanted to build was a career in music; in 2000, he ventured to New York, earning a second master’s at New York University’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts. “Karine” is a fusion of the musicians’ inspired union, and represents a triptych from their first days to the present. Sahin notes, “It would have been easy enough to tinker with some of the earlier productions, but as Karine and I revisited them, we had respect for what inspired those moments. We decided to leave them alone. We think they stand the test of time.” Hannah adds, “I listen to some of the songs now and, of course, would sing this word or that note a little differently—every singer feels that way when listening back—but there are so many memories attached to our sessions, whether the laughter, the emotion, what was going on in our lives at the time, so we agreed to let their essence remain.” That first collaboration, “Forget Tomorrow,” is certainly among the songs that I appreciate. When Ayhan and I met in 2001, he encouraged me, as a writer for Billboard and the magazine’s single reviews editor, to put my money where my mouth is and pen a lyric for him to put to music. I was floored when Karine and Ayhan first shared the song. Words hold their meaning, for sure, but those verses and the chorus draped around a fitting melody, emotively delivered, became a magical art form. And these two artists, combined, conjured quite a force field. Other highlights on “Karine” include “Far Away,” a stunningly visual snapshot about anticipating her man’s return; rock-dance gambols “Breathe It All In” and “The Only One”; and sassy, funk-fortified “Gone,” an invitation to commit—or walk. “Frida’s Sonnet,” a forlorn tome of a love affair in its final days, showcases a more theatrical hue, adapted from Sahin’s full-length musical “Swedish Style.” Hannah also delivers two foreign-language gems: chug-along ballad “Si tu par” (“If You Leave”) in French and Turkish “Sirtimda Askin” (“The Love On My Shoulders”), which meshes instrumental influences of Arabic and flamenco. In all, “Karine” hearkens a bygone era where an album was designed to serve up the full spectrum of an artist’s ability—instead of so many gimmick-driven, pinhole-targeted acts that drive today’s marketplace. Hannah’s versatility is her trump, imbued with innate celestial talent and consummate emotive fervor. Aligned with these dozen-plus sing-along treasures, here is a project whose stamp is utterly timeless. CHUCK TAYLOR Billboard Magazine, New York December 2008
BREATHE IT ALL IN (Griffith, Sahin) Evaporate Into The Light Your Red Dress on the Floor You Want It All, You Want It All This Show is such a Bore- CHORUS: Breathe It All In 'Cause This Could Be The Last Chance That You Get Tommorrow It Ends Just Pretend To Forget Your Body Driving Me Insane My Mis-Identity Broken Hearts in Parking Lots It's All the Same to Me But I can't turn Away, CHORUS: Breathe It All In 'Cause This Could Be The Last Chance That You Get Tommorrow It Ends Just Pretend To Forget Open the sky With everything you thought that you should be City of lights Let the warmth set you free This gun in my mouth feels so good Forget the taste of her, another day another life we could Undo the way things were Your Body Driving Me Insane My Mis-Identity Broken Hearts in Parking Lots It's All the Same to Me You're So Wrong So Wrong, I Realize I've Come Undone Your Lips, The Taste of Sweeter Destruction Use Me Up, Turn Around, and Walk A-way- CHORUS
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