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  • Writer's pictureR’nR With Rylo

Spin #109 : Begin To Look Around : Gretta Ray


Welcome to our 109th Spin at R'nR with Rylo and this week we will be spinning the debut album from Australian artist - Gretta Ray called 'Begin To Look Around'. I remember picking up this copy from Waxx Lyrical, after missing out on their pink wax 'Record of the Month' version. This one comes in a gatefold sleeve, with photos and lyrics included on the LP jackets. The colour of the 2 x LPs are a coke bottle green and also came with a signed bit of artwork from the lovely Ray, thrown in by the mastermind of Waxx Lyrical - so Awesome! If you haven't heard this artist before, I'd say that she has a folk/rock sound compared to the folk/pop sound of say, Vera Blue (check out our Sunday spin of Vera Blue - 'Perennial' here). I like the differences between the artists and was really impressed with this album.

The weather has become colder and we have been rugged up most of this weekend listening to some records. On Friday night we had a movie night with our 5 year old son. He is currently on school holidays and Night Kat Kiz and I wanted to give him a bit of a special movie night, so we watched Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. He loved it! There were some bits where he was scared and upset but overall in the end, it all worked out. He had some homemade popcorn and treats before heading to bed a very tired boy. Our daughter is a little bit younger so she was already in bed at normal bed time. I thought our son would sleep in the next morning, but he woke up at his normal early time. It has been a juggle this week with day care, work and holiday care days. Plus we are all battling a bit of seasonal allergies - hayfever.

The record packaging is solid and EMI have done a great job in taking the time with her debut. The track listing on the back of the sleeve catches your eye and makes it easy to read each song. Some records have such bad font or small text that it makes it almost impossible to decipher. Can you think of a record that has terrible font or text colour?

How do I describe this album. Basically, Ray is showing the world what she has been through and is ready to show you what she has learned from those experiences. This is not a typical debut record where every song is about puppies and rainbows. There are a few tracks that show true-grit and that is something that drew me to this album. Some of the stand out songs on the album would be - 'CHERISH', BIGGER THAN ME', 'IT'S ALMOST CHRISTMAS IN PHILLY', 'THE CURE', 'READYMADE' and 'WORLDLY-WISE'. I know that our daughter will end up liking this album as she grows older. She has stopped a couple of times to look up at the Marshall Woburn II speaker and listen to Ray's voice.

Some of the lyrics I liked on this album where on a song called, 'THE CURE' - "There's growth in falling apart, there's laughter between the darker moments, romance in the loneliness. There's hope in this broken heart, dancing amidst the disaster of it all. Crumbling then crawling back to who I was before, I'm crying out for the cure". You really hear towards the end how much emotion is in her voice and I think its her playing the piano too. I forgot to mention too that this one needs to be played at 45 RPM. If you play it at 33 1/3RPM, then you'll be unable to recognise that this is Gretta Ray - I accidentally did this without reading the speed printed on the LP label. Our kids looked up at me confused because I'd told them that this lady is really good and it sounded more like Barry White.

I haven't had a chance to add her latest record or stream 'Positive Spin' but it is one that we will add eventually. I've been adding a lot of records to our 'wish-list' and know one day we will have the music room that will hold all of these fantastic records. Night Kat Kiz and I are working hard towards our goal and giving our kids the best life possible. A record like 'Begin to Look Around' is a perfect pairing for this moment of our life. We are keeping positive and keeping our eyes open for good things and opportunities in our lives.

Did everyone get a bargain or hard to find RSD title yesterday? We didn't this year but good to see how much support the local independent stores received. There were a couple of goodies that I would have bought but maybe I will get lucky and find them in the future. Also saw that Taylor Swift cleverly released her new album, knowing everyone would be out buying records that day. She released 4 x variants that all have a unique bonus song and different cover artwork, making Swifties go nuts knowing that they have to buy all versions to have the complete release.

I'm not sure of the story behind the included artwork piece signed by Gretta Ray, but it was very cool to open this record and see that included. It would be pretty cool if she reached out after reading our family blog and let us know the story behind it. The sign of a great album is liking it on the initial spin, then liking it more and more each time. That is certainly the case on 'Begin to Look Around' and would love to hear this one on our loungeroom set up, in order to hear the deeper bass and background layers. The production on this album is meticulous and still can't believe how much attention to detail has been given to an artist's debut album. What has been your favourite song so far? Let us know below in the comments or on our social pages.

We will be heading off up North for a family wedding this week and I won't be posting a MWSP or Sunday Spin for one week. I almost forgot this week and had to post the MWSP with a 'LATE" banner across it. It has been a busy week, like I said before, and balancing the kids and work has pushed us close to the limit this week. I forgot to mention earlier that our son has been going to his school holiday themed days - Science days, golf days, karaoke days etc. He has had so much fun and the smile on his face when we pick him up has been nice to see.

I hope that you enjoyed spending some time with us as we reviewed another Spin from the R'nR with Rylo collection. An Aussie artist that should get your attention as she skyrockets up the charts and can't wait to see what the future holds for her. Make sure that you support her by buying her records - 'Begin to Look Around' and 'Positive Spin'. Remember to rest and relax, maybe read a book that you've wanted to read for a long time. I posted about 'The Catcher In The Rye' on Friday night and recommend it to anyone who likes relaxing with a good book. Plus, this weather is perfect for reading or relaxing with a nice cup of coffee. Hug your loved ones and keep spinning records when you can.

Until our next Spin......

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