Plumb, aka Tiffany Arbuckle Lee, has been one of my very favorite artists since I heard “Sobering” back 1998. Now, in 2009, she released her first ever official hits collection on Nov. 3rd, entitled “Beautiful History”, on Curb Records. For an artist that has been creating beautiful and infectious music since ’97, I would say it’s definitely about time for a hits cd. While there have been a few Plumb hits collections floating around, this is the first one that Plumb has put together herself. And you hear her personal touches all over it. “Beautiful History” is filled with fan favorites as well as two new songs. What makes this collection even more special is the updated versions of three of Plumb’s biggest hits such as, “Stranded”, “Here With Me”, and “God-Shaped Hole”.
The cd opener takes us back to her 1999 release “Candycoatedwaterdrops” with the song “Stranded (2010)”. Being one of Plumb’s most well known songs it was interesting to hear the changes that had been made to it. In my opinion, it stays true to the original while bringing to it a fuller, more grown up sound. Both the vocal and the arrangement sound a lot more mature. Next is the updated version of “Here With Me (2010)”. This has to be my favorite of the updated tracks. “Here With Me” has always been close to my heart and this arrangement brings a whole new life to it. The emotional and beautiful song “Damaged (Redemption Extended Version)” is one of the most powerful songs of Plumb’s career. This song, which has touched so many people’s lives, was released in ’99 and was written for victims of sexual abuse. The haunting music and lyrics have always given me goose bumps. This updated version (which was also featured on her album Chaotic Resolve) adds a beautiful element of worship and healing, there’s no way you can’t be moved by it. Rounding out the songs from the “Candycoatedwaterdrops” era, is the updated version of “God-Shaped Hole (2010)”. Again, this arrangement seems fuller and more mature, while not venturing too far from the original. I love how in all the updated versions you see Plumb bringing in all the newer sounds of her music style.
I was a bit disappointed that the only track included from her 2003 release “Beautiful Lumps Of Coal” was the song “Real”. It’s not I don’t love this song, it does happen to be one of my favorites. But there are so many great songs on that cd it seems like a shame not to include at least one more. I would’ve loved to have seen “Taken” or “Sink ‘N Swim” making it onto the track list.
Her 2006 release “Chaotic Resolve” (my favorite Plumb cd) was very well covered with tracks such as “I Can’t Do This”, the heartfelt song for people who struggle with self injury “Cut”, “Better”, and the romantic “Blush (Only You)”. The next track, “In My Arms” from her 2007 lullaby album “Blink”, is a beautiful ode to motherhood. “In My Arms” was the first single from “Blink”, which showed Plumb fans a new side of her musicality, with the record being filled with ethereal, atmospheric sounds and fragile lyrics.
The real highlight of this cd to me was the two brand new songs at the end of the album. It’s been a couple years since we’ve heard any new music from Plumb, so I was really excited to hear these two new tracks. The first one being “Hang On”, a rock song with powerful lyrics inspired by a Hurricane Katrina survivor, “Hang on, when the water is rising. Hang on, when the waves are crashing. Hang on, just don’t ever let go.” Title track “Beautiful History” is my favorite. The soft piano ballad has such beautiful lyrics, it captured me right away. “Whenever you run away, whenever you lose your faith, it’s just another stroke of the pen on the page. A lonely ray of hope is all that you need to see a beautiful history.”
Another thing that makes this cd special is how Plumb included the story behind each song inside the cd booklet. It was really interesting to read what inspired her to write these songs. The only problem I have with this cd is that I wish she would have included at least one track from her very first cd, the 1997 self titled debut “Plumb”. Other than that, this cd truly is a must have for any Plumb fan. This collection is the perfect way to rediscover the music of such a creative and wonderfully unique artist. A beautiful history indeed!
For more info on Plumb go to: www.myspace.com/plumb