The Closest Thing to Crazy I’ve Done is NOT to Have Heard of Katie Melua

Katie Melua

Katie Melua

I listen to a lot of music, but a lot of older music. That’s because there’s not a lot of new music played on the radio that excites me. Most actually annoy me so much I can’t stand leaving it on for long. Of course, that doesn’t mean there isn’t great music these days. It’s just a lot harder to come by, it seems. However, I am sometimes shocked by how “out of it” I am not to have heard about certain musicians who have been very successful and who makes, performs and/or sings great music. Well, I had one of those moments tonight with Georgian-bornΒ  British singer Ketevan “Katie” Melua and her music.

I routinely listen to the many channels of the Internet radio site Iceberg Radio, varying them based on how I’m feeling. But a lot of the stuff I listen to there are old stuff. I just happened to have decided to put it on the Love Song Radio channel tonight (under Adult Contemporary, then Love Songs) and was cleaning house when Katie’s The Closest Thing to Crazy came on.

Stopped me dead in my tracks, the soft and basic nature of the song, then the voice, then the concept chorus because by the time I got my thoughts together on all that other stuff I was hearing, the song had it the chorus.

This is the closest thing to crazy that I have ever been

Never mind the rest of it for now, though it’s beautiful. I just liked the concept of how she spun that old concept of being crazy in love as coming close to that edge rather than just the old going overboard mindlessly. She is aware of all of what’s going on, but can’t help it, it seems, and I loved that helpless sense of losing control conveyed. And then the rest of the chorus:

This is the closest thing to crazy I have ever been
Feeling twenty-two, acting seventeen,
This is the nearest thing to crazy I have ever known,
I was never crazy on my own…
And now I know that there’s a link between the two,
Being close to craziness and being close to you.
(Full lyrics, video with lyrics)

Basically, in half a song, one chorus, one line, she had me!

Research after I returned to reality show that the song was written by British based songwriter, musician, producer and Deputy Chairman of the British Phonographic Industry (2009), Mike Batt, in 1995. However, his version of it on MySpace (Track 1) just doesn’t have the same impact on me, even if it’s nice. It was Katie’s performance abilities that gave the song its magic to me to put it over good to great. Poor guy, but I can empathize, having heard other people sing my songs better. The one song I have on MySpace, beautifully sung by Lis Soderberg, is the perfect example.

Now, Katie Melua was new to me, but I wasn’t naive enough to think someone like her was not successful. I knew this was an instance where I had just “missed the boat” and “showing my age” (which I rarely do). What I didn’t know was how much I had missed the boat on this one as Katie was the United Kingdom’s biggest-selling female artist and Europe’s highest selling European female artist in 2006!

Wow! Talk about missing the boat! It’s like the sailboat left, gone several times around the world and came back and I hadn’t known!

But you know, I’m not going to entirely take the blame on this one. None of my friends ever said anything about Katie’s music. Many of them are musicians and/or are pretty into the latest music, but not a word of Katie’s music has ever been mentioned. And as for the Halifax (Nova Scotia) radio stations, when they ever played her music I don’t know but I’ve never heard it. For all the modern crap they play, you’d think they’d recognize a modern gem to play more often when they could!

Ah, ’tis the joy of discovery, and what led me to look her up on YouTube to learn more about her. There, I found some fabulous videos of her and her music, some of which have had over 3 million views. Yep, she’s pretty famous, all right, and I’m just a hermit in this case!

So is anybody reading this not heard of Katie Melua? Tell me if so, or just take a stab at telling me how much I need to “get out” more or something! πŸ™‚

Share/Save/Bookmark

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LOVE the lyrics on this one! Katie seems to like correlation and causality lyrics! πŸ™‚

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And another lovely song among many, which I’m having trouble stopping myself from including them all!

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One more. A provocative one.

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6 thoughts on “The Closest Thing to Crazy I’ve Done is NOT to Have Heard of Katie Melua

  1. I’m so pleased that you’ve encountered Katie Melua. I first encountered her music around 4 years ago (I live in England so its no surprise) and saw her live in a small venue in Guildford over here and fell in love instantly. She has everything. She performs her songs quite beautifully, she sings great, she’s only an average guitar player (sorry Katie) but, and this is the huge but, she looks absolutely stunning and is such a nice person. And I’ve played guitar in all sorts of places all round the world and I’m pretty hard to please.

    I envy anybody who hasn’t heard Katie’s music as you have so much to look forward to. She’s the best kept secret in music. If you haven’t…go listen to her as soon as possible….the make your own mind up.

    Finally I agree with the previous post….keep up the good work.

  2. You needn’t feel sorry for Mike Batt. It was he who discovered Katie, signed her to a recording contract and produced her first four albums. It was she, however, who insisted on recording “Closest Thing to Crazy”. Mike warned her about the non-response he had gotten from his own version of it.

    There used to be a radio station in Edmonton that played her music. That’s where I first heard a few of her songs. I found them interesting, intelligent and often quirky in a quite delightful way – so I googled her. The first thing to come up was a live clip of “Crazy”. She had me completely under her spell after “Feel the air beneath my feet”. By the end of the song I was in tears. It’s both the most beautiful and the saddest thing I’ve ever heard.

    Unfortunately her most recent album, “The House” was produced by someone other than Mike, and is unbearably ordinary. From anyone else it would be an OK effort, but from Katie it is horribly disappointing.

    • Thanks for your insightful comments, Ormand. I feel for any songwriter who wasn’t able to make his/her songs work nearly as well as when someone else takes it, unless that new person either brought something special to it like Katie’s talent, or reinterpreted it in a radically different way. A lot of music is image and charisma and I don’t like how it sometimes takes away from the song.

      Interesting about Katie’s musical turn away from Mike and its results. I hope she’ll have the vision and hindsight to see his impact and go back to working with him, hopefully to get the same magic as they did before.

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