The Unsung Bravebird

She’s a Bravebird that most have little to no knowledge of. Amel Larrieux has been serenading us since the days of the 90’s duo Groove Theory. After the success of the debut album Groove Theory she spread her wings into her new blissful journey. Comparable to the legendary Sade, Amel only puts out music when she feels the need to “say something” or when her spirit is moved to do so. Out of her lengthy career, to date, she has only released five albums. But each piece of art tells stories of her journeys through this life. The struggles of being a woman, the struggles of love, the ups and the downs and the in-betweens she shines her light on every corner of her life. Sadly most only know Tell Me (Groove Theory) or For Real, so of course Im here to hip you to some of her classic Vintage Moments and songs. So light your incense and your candles and just vibe out to these Amel Larrieux classics.

First up is Weary from the 2006 album Morning

“I want some one to love me…….Heal my wounds and give me……Kisses on my head

Say things that should be said….”

How many of us have felt that way? How many of us have grown weary putting up that wall? Pretending to be strong when in reality we just want love and someone to love us? Amel spoke to the soldiers of love on this tune. In a time when “singers” would bash love and feel like they’re above it,  Amel said HEY! OVER HERE! LISTEN, LOVE IS REAL!!! Love is real and it is possible, we don’t have to save face all the time, we all want to be held and understood at the end of the day.

Have you ever felt small? Have you wanted to just break away from the push and pull? Have you ever felt suffocated?

“I’m Gettin’ Eaten Up Down Here…….I’m Just Not Built Like Them………The Big Fish Have A Monopoly……The Little Fish Get Buried In The Sand……..This Here World I’m In………….
Sucks Your Life Out…..Leaves You Comatose……Take Back Your Salt And Fins
Send Me A Lifeboat…..”

If there’s one thing you can say about Mama Bravebird is that she writes for the people. Gills and Tails can most definitely be alluded to her stance on the recording industry and the big wigs. After her first solo album the record label wanted her to tone down her….well her truth and her art. This led to her going independent and starting BlissLife Records with her longtime beau and husband Laru. If you’ve ever been stifled in your life, ever felt looked over at your job, this song is most definitely something you can relate to.

This next song is very reminiscent of the Nina Simone classic Aint Got No/I Got Life! All I Got is a track from Amel’s Bravebird album.

“Got a will……That lifts me up…….When my body can’t……Got a way……Of getting’ through…
With no helping hands……Got a mind……..That lends me strength……
So I ain’t afraid to stand…….Got a love……So deep in me…….
Can’t be stopped by any man……”

Very self explanatory. Hey…this is all I got! Nothing special about it, its just me. Nothing can bring me down because what I lack in material things I make for in spirituality and will power. The power from within with allow anyone to conquer an obstacle and accepting your place in life will leave you with some inner peace that most struggle to obtain.

If there was ever an answer to Anita Baker’s song Fairy Tales, Sweet Misery would be it. We were all told that love can be so whimsical and so majestic. It would be that classic Disney story….but then we grow up and we see that love aint all fairy tales and living life in paradise. Love, just like life, has Infinite Possibilities……see what I did there?

“I wish I didn’t feel it……I know it just ain’t right……But it seems to pop up in my head….
morning, noon, and night…..I just can’t release it…….the memory of you…..
mama never told me love would leave me so damn blue….”

Sometimes love can just be a bitch. It’s a sweet taboo and can be so wavering. So poetic yet it can leave you so miserable. Such sweet misery….

Now this next song I wanted to highlight because it was a collaboration with the legendary band Sweetback and if you don.t know who Sweetback is well you need to read my Sade post! You Will Rise is a song of hope and I think thats Amel’s message….Hope. She teaches us that there will be a brighter tomorrow if you just keep that flame burning. Keep your passions alive and your vibrations high and you can accomplish anything you desire. Stay grounded, stay humble, stay focused, stay free and all your desires and hopes and dreams will manifest.

“Baby, you will rise……Limit is the skies….Don’t let nobody fill your head with their lies……..
Baby, you will rise…..Never compromise….Milk and honey is waitin’ for you on the other side…”

Now this next one is a reality check that some of us need. We all need a Moment to Reflect before we start speaking out our necks. Don’t speak just to speak, don’t spread nonsense. When you’re angry or full of emotions that may be detrimental to situations that are occurring at the moment. Stop…gather your thoughts….check yourself and your attitude and come with something better. That’s all children. Listen to the song to get the message.

“Before I say something I regret I….Need a moment to reflect…..I’d Like to keep my foot out of my mouth
And not be speakin’ out my neck…..And not say it just to be sayin’ it
I got a butterfly net……In which my thoughts I collect
Puttin’ the head and heart to the test to come with something better…”

Have you ever been in a “new” love? Like back in love after a battle with your heart? After you’ve hurt  and now you’re so cautious to open up that chakra again? We Can Be New talks about that journey. No one wants to be hurt again. We’re all skeptical of the next person that walks back into our lives BUT like I said Amel is always about hope. Although the new path is scary it can be new and exciting! It doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. It doesn’t have to be a love gone wrong. It can be new…it can be if you want it to be.

“Want to begin, want to begin to grow our new future, love
Where the ground is still fertile, full of hope and life
Never again, never again will pain and lies do you in
Let’s bury them beside us, so they can remind us of when we…

I hope that this feature will bring some of you to check out Amel’s catalogue. There’s something there for all of us whether you’re struggling to survive in a world full of people that look down on you or trying to cope with a love that has left you broken. Let Amel’s music ease your soul, welcome her into your music libraries. Im sure you all have For Real and Im sure you all still bop to Tell Me, but give her other stuff a try. You may like what you hear! Oh and for those who thinks she cant book a stage…..Auntie is STILL touring and still performs in front of a packed venue! Her Bravebirds are always in building to get blessed by the High Priestess! Also…..little sidebar before I end this…..Amel has aaalllllllwwwwaaaayyyssss been on of my hair inspirations!! That big fro full of curls YES GAWD!!!! OK BYE!!


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