Michel Griffin | Russian Dolls

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Easy Listening: Ballads Folk: Folk-Rock Moods: Type: Vocal
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Russian Dolls

by Michel Griffin

Lyrical, inspiring, thought-provoking songs from Michel Griffin: instant ambiance. You'll love it.
Genre: Easy Listening: Ballads
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. August Morning
2:15 $0.99
2. Children of Circumstance
4:25 $0.99
3. Where the Story Starts
3:41 $0.99
4. Who Whips the Cream?
3:30 $0.99
5. Russian Dolls
3:47 $0.99
6. That Laughter of Conchita's
2:47 $0.99
7. The Poet's Smile
2:14 $0.99
8. Strangers Once Again
2:33 $0.99
9. Walking the Web
2:40 $0.99
10. True Love
1:56 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Michel Griffin's work redefines the boundary between poetry and song; his music is lyrical, telling, poignant.

A compelling on-stage performer, he began writing songs as a teeenager and rapidly gained acclaim in the UK, appearing weekly on BBC Radio and regularly in clubs and concert-halls. Michel has now settled in the wilds of the french countryside, where he composes and records lovely, intimate, reflective and often inspiring music.

With 'Russian Dolls', his third CD, Michel Griffin confirms his reputation as a gifted song-writer, performer and arranger.

Track by track:

"August Morning" opens the CD with crystal-clear guitars heralding the arrival of a new summer's day. "And I love you in the morning, As a new day coaxes birdsong from the trees; And I love you, and the laughter in your eyes that’s all for me". Michel's voice is low and warm, with smooth vocal harmonies provided by Maryline Dumont.

"Children of Circumstance" changes the mood. Edgy, atmospheric, electric. A lonely man contemplates a past he cannot change: "It’s not only clowns who play the fool, But it’s only the brave who confront the truth ..." One of the more poignant tracks on the album.

"Where the Story Starts" evokes the slow sunset over a forgotten valley, as the crickets still, the wild geese pass overhead in search of pastures new, and we listen in on the singer's reflections on his new-found roots, his new-found start in life.

The almost Samba rhythms of "Who Whips the Cream?", with its delicate spanish guitar accompaniment, make you want to dance, as the singer idly wonders "What makes you smile? Who is keeping you laughing? Who shares your dreams, now that I’m not there?"

With the title track, "Russian Dolls", Michel has found a worthy successor to his popular "America, Come Weep." Although in a very different style, both songs talk in their own way of the hypocrisy of power: "It’s all a game of Russian dolls, every motive neatly sheathed; Painted faces & frozen smiles cloak the daggers and the greed." Plangent electric guitar and more lovely vocal harmonies by Maryline Dumont.

"In the hazy middle-distance between the known and the unseen, hovers in uncertainty the ghost of what might have been" - "That Laughter of Conchita's" paints the portrait of a liberated spirit who left the singer with an indelible memory of her laughter and her easy ways. Nice acoustic guitar-work.

"The Poet's Smile" was inspired by someone who was so concerned with his image that he lost his true self. The sparest song on the album, it came out in the studio in a single take, with Michel accompanying his poignant lyrics with some simple guitar-picking.

You go on vacation. You meet the love of your life. You return home. And arrange to meet up. But somehow, away from the beach and the rolling surf, the glinting, lilting moonlight, the magic's gone. And you realise that you've just become "Strangers Once Again". Fabulous guitar solo by Jean-Paul Piquard.

"Time is coming, not so far away, there'll be a Blackberry implant in every brain ..." and we'll all be "Walking the Web". A lovely catchy number, with a Django Reinhardt feel to it.

The CD closes with a rhythmic paean to "True Love", which again features the vocal talents of Maryline Dumont. "True love’s forever, or that’s how it seems ..."

This CD is a sheer delight - enjoy!



to write a review

Don Palmer

I have rarely heard an album that provides such a compelling combination of poetic and musical pleasures. The quality of his lyrics, the range of his vocal abilities, and the diversity of moods that his songs evoke make Michel Griffin one of the more accomplished musicians I have encountered in recent years. I look forward to his next album!

David K. May

The multi-talented Michel Griffin just gets better and better. 'Russian Dolls' demonstrates a further advance into the developing world of his compositional expertise, the precise definition of his instrumental skill, and the broad spectrum of his lyrical pen. From the political pith of the eponymous song to the haunting nostalgia of Conchita's laughter, from the philosophical acceptance of 'Children of Circumstance' to the flapper-happy Charleston beat of the Noel Cowardish 'Walking the Web', Michel displays his wide-ranging ability to hit all the right notes.

Alex York

Music that Matters--that's RUSSIAN DOLLS
If there's a thread running through Michel's newest album, I'd say it's wistfulness... a looking back at people, places, feelings. Most music that matters is about loss--what we could have/should have/wished we had done or been. The album is aptly named--each doll hiding another doll within... beautiful on the outside, but hidden on the inside. Hidden beauty, hidden faces, hidden desires. RUSSIAN DOLLS is a work of musical mastery--Michel sees all, every hidden doll.

Roland Bowman

FInger Picking is sweet!
I can't say enough good about the album Russian Dolls.Well crafted songs and performance. Got me tuned in from the git go. Nice to hear new songs that are classics in my mind and has the form and style of Classical Music. The Lyrics fit like a Russian Doll. Also ole' Michael is good at finger picking. Plus a few surprises like that Hammond sound. Music with an important message in Russian Dolls.The balance is perfect. Never have to strain or guess the words. A real genuine Keeper!