I need to preface this post by saying that this is simply the album I enjoyed listening to most in 2016. Not necessarily the best album of 2016. In fact, the album I enjoyed most this year was not released in 2016 at all. It was released in 2008.
When I was in Australia in 2014 I found William Fitzsimmons’ Goodnight. I had heard some songs from it before, but I got the whole album and listened all the way through. That album became something like a close friend. It was my comfort while I was away from home. I don’t know how many nights I fell asleep to it, but it was no small number. See, I’m not usually a whole album person. I’m more of a few songs here and there type. It is very rare that I enjoy listening to an album all the way through unless it is a first listen. But even then I often have a hard time. I find a couple songs I like best and I listen to only those songs over and over and the rest of the album gets lost and forgotten. But I loved Goodnight in its entirety.
I have listened to a lot of William Fitzsimmons. I like him a lot. The Sparrow and the Crow was a more elusive album (by that I mean you can’t get it on iTunes) so it was one of the last I listened to. I love William Fitzsimmons, but none of his other music was as good as Goodnight. I had this feeling though, that The Sparrow and the Crow might be. Goodnight was about his parent’s divorce. I think I love it because it is pure emotion. It makes me feel. It is beautiful and significant somehow because it feels real. The Sparrow and the Crow is about his own divorce, so I thought that maybe it would be similar in its depth of emotion.
I found a used copy of it for sale online through a slightly sketchy used music store. I payed about $3.00 and honestly, I didn’t think it would actually come. But $3.00 wasn’t a big loss, so I took a chance and believe it or not, a month or two later, it showed up at my door.
I was a bit nervous. I had built my hopes up and was worried it wouldn’t be as good as I had made it in my mind. The first listen was reassuring. It was good. Maybe not Goodnight good, but still good. After Afterall caught me right away. The part where he is singing “please don’t keep me” while she is singing “please don’t leave me” was that same emotional feel as Goodnight. The more I listened to the album, the more I loved it. It is definitely as good as Goodnight, I actually think I might like it more.
So I have to say that it was my favourite album of 2016. I have listened to it over and over. My favourite song on the album is They’ll never take the good years. Every time it comes on when my music is on shuffle I smile and make a “mmmm” noise. But there is not a bad track on the whole thing. Seriously, just put it on and don’t skip anything.
So in conclusion, who wants to take me to a William Fitzsimmons show?