Everything Changes I Can Change Too
Artist: Sue Riley
Reviewer: Carole Tomhave
Hot off the presses is this new CD by the chair of the National Music Ministry Team, Sue K. Riley. Somehow, along with chairing the planning of the Sound Connections Conferences for UWM, and co-hosting the Positive Music Awards and PosiPalooza concerts worldwide, Sue has continued to hone her own songwriting and performing craft, with inspirational and fun results!
The title of this CD is apt on many levels. The songs take a thorough look at personal transformation-- its pitfalls and successes, missteps and triumphs. Sue uses the theme of change musically as well, however—the grooves vary from chant to folk to Broadway-esque to upbeat pop, and the lyrics are soothing, or challenging, or just downright funny! Along the way, she amasses an impressive list of co-writers and studio musicians such as Daniel Nahmod (who also produced the album), Tom Kimmel, Harold Payne, and Karen Taylor-Good.
My personal favorite is “Waltzing”, a wonderful song superbly co-written by Sue and Karen Taylor-Good that creates a wistful, evocative metaphor on life using imagery of various dance styles. The melody is highly crafted and perfectly captures the mood of the lyrics.
“Yoga Retreat” (“Coffee, wine and chocolate at my yoga retreat”) is a hysterical story song that most of us can relate to, once we stop laughing. Along with “When We’re Talkin’ Dreams”, this song reminds us to be gentle with ourselves in our quest for self-improvement (“Time’s your friend, not your enemy….You’re breathing, so it’s not too late, there’s no expiration date when you’re talkin’ dreams”).
“Everything Changes”, the title track, has a catchy melody in the refrain that will stay with you for days, becoming a great affirmation. This chorus would work well for congregational singing. Another great worship service song is the pre-meditation chant “Teach Me To Pray”. And “The Me I Wanna Be” would make a great Burning Bowl or New Year’s song (“I’m gonna move a little, make it past the middle, get closer to the me I wanna be.”).
I am thoroughly enjoying getting to know this great CD, and looking forward to the songbook! Congratulations, Sue!