Shameem – Live And Learn, Knowing That Time Does Not Reverse

One more smile to give (just Pass It On)

One more song to sing (but it’s Just A Show)

One more word to say (with Moderation)

One more love to give and forgive (“I Love You, But…”)

Back with Shameem Taheri-Lee, whose EP, Time Does Not Reverse, has just dropped this weekend, on Friday July 28th.

Yesterday was the time for celebration at the Ellington Jazz Club, where she performed for her EP launch.

Time Does Not Reverse is the honest work of a true writer.
Shameem’s lines relate her lifetime and all poetically reflect reality as it is.

Let’s break it down track by track.

Just A Show

Columns and posters of glamour
Bright neon lights from the fast food chain
Glittering eyelids, luxurious lashes
Here we go again
[…]
Columns and pillars of grandeur
Two gladiators have locked their blades
Glittering armour, malevolent lashes
Play your ace of spades
The emperor nods his approval
Spectators applaud when the fight is done

The writing for this poem is one of the cleverest in the EP, comparing the music stage to a gladiator arena is not so far from reality. Some musicians dedicating their life to music, can get depressed and lose passion.

They began all of this first of all to connect with an audience, and for the magic of music. But now confronted to the reality of things, having to do shows for a living ends up sucking up energy.

The competition with other artists sharing the same stage, the will to impress, the glittering dress, and an audience that couldn’t care less; an artist is losing joy, soul, and the point of his life.

So, with a bittersweet taste of Blues that you can hear from the guitar strings, Shameem soulfully sings her lyrics, supported by ethereal back vocals. Her tone still sounds like Ella Fitzgerald’s.

This poem should give a voice for every artist feeling some time to time cursed and crushed by the entertainment industry and its ongoing routine.

 

Moderation

There’s religion versus science, creationism, atheism
Say it’s black and white, who is right? My ism not your ism
We are prisoners of each extreme
Each one believing that they are supreme

Moderation is the most philosophical piece from this EP, and also the most beautiful illustration to her identity as a conscious songstress.

The actual social commentary on freedom of thoughts opposed to authorities of thoughts.

In philosophy, there is what you call Relative Truth and Absolute Truth. Yet no one could hold the absolute truth, for what’s true to one might be only for one environment, one civilization, one history… but not for the whole wide world. Politics, religious, and scientists think differently, and society remains prisoner of their knowledge.

Shameem unleashes her voice during the chorus, calling for that freedom of thoughts and moderation. This track allows her to highlight her vocal prowess, and have her say on such a topic. 

Here again, the writing is very clever. The fast enumeration of words, over a pop/hip-hop beat, illustrate somehow the massive information we’re absorbing everyday and trusting, taking word for it. This beat behind it all gives quite an uplifting feeling.

The bridge, made with the drums and the back vocals, all united along the same rhythm structure, is key: this gives more weight to Shameem’s message.

 

Pass It On

You don’t have to be a somebody to make a change
What you do today could make the ripple that becomes a wave
So pave the way

A blend of Jazz, Soul and Pop, a load of positivity. This is Shameem’s lightest song here, and also her happiest.

Dedicated to her uncle and inspired by Barbara Hauck’s poem, Smile, from the book “Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul”, Pass It On inspires to trust in karma, or in the causal relationships, or just in the fact that the littlest things can give the greatest things.

I Love You But

But then a shadow crept across your face
You chose the way that led to your disgrace

A track already discussed previously, and that deals with disappointment, misbehavior, and forgiveness.

 

Finally, this EP Time Does Not Reverse is a piece full of life. It makes you feel like you’ve spent a whole week with Shameem, listening to her pains and joys, philosophizing and watching her in her everyday routine as a professional entertainer.

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