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Baker's Dozen

Things I Hold Dear: Nadine Shah's Favourite Albums
Jeremy Allen , June 3rd, 2020 08:46

In this week's Baker's Dozen, Nadine Shah guides Jeremy Allen through favourite albums from Mariah Carey to Fat White Family, along the way discussing her friendship with Amy Winehouse and why Richard Dawson is the only man who should be allowed acoustic guitars at parties


Lauryn Hill - The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
I would have been 12 when this came out and I think it's probably one of the only albums I can think back on from childhood that's quite a cool one. I didn't have a very musical family, I didn't have a bunch of muso friends, so I dunno how I stumbled upon it. I would have heard something on Top of the Pops or it would have been on the wall advertised in HMV because it was a really big album and that's the one you go to. 

I knew every word to every song on the album, even the rapping. I've been banned from rapping in isolation by my boyfriend which is quite frustrating because I love rapping. I remember being really proud of myself and knowing all the lyrics, but there's a lot of stark political commentary in her words too, and maybe I wouldn't have noticed that at the time. There's beautiful nostalgia attached to it from my childhood but I think it still stands out compared to so much stuff I've listened to. Whenever I listen to new music I find it interesting to go back to old favourites, and that still stands out as unique and quite revolutionary. 

It's a really coherent piece of work. It's amazing, there are all these segues between songs which take place in a classroom, and there's a teacher talking to the kids. They're really sweet, lovely, gentle moments, and there's that one song 'Doo-Wap (That Thing)' - it's quite retro even for the time - and there are these silky songs sung by Lauryn Hill and she just has such a beautiful singing voice. It's the album I've given to people and never got back the most. I swear I've replaced it at least 12 times saying, 'you've got to listen to this!'

There wasn't much after that. You wonder, when you make such a pivotal album, whether an artist feels pressurised and thinks they can't make anything else like that. And in a way, if you feel within yourself that you can't make anything better then just leave it at that. You've accomplished what you set out to do. Retire as heavyweight champion, why not?