Image © 1999
EMI Electrola GmbH
(30 September 2000) Maggie Reilly's most recent release is entitled
Starcrossed (EMI Electrola (Germany) 7243 5 25415 2 2, 2000). In her solo
career that followed a successful association with Mike Oldfield ("Moonlight
Shadow," etc.), Reilly has already released three albums, a range of singles
and a best of compilation. Her solo career began with Echoes (1992) and
was immediately followed up by Midnight Sun (1993). After a break,
Elena (1997) emerged. The Best Of compilation There And Back
Again actually features a new recording of "Moonlight Shadow." Reilly's
latest album is a natural development of the artist's adult alternative
contemporary singing songwriting style.
Interestingly Maggie Reilly's albums are rarely domestically
released either in the Americas or United Kingdom. Originally from Scotland,
she sings in English and her music, like Miriam Stockley's, has broad
appeal but the German community seems to have recognised her talent more
than other territories. This latest release features twelve mostly easy
rocking tracks featuring soaring vocals with additional layers contributing
to the textures achieved. A bevy of guest artists are listed as contributing
to the recordings. They include: Nico Ramsden (guitars), Fergus Durrant
(percussion) Danny Schogger (keyboards), Charlie Dore (additional backing
vocals), Grant Mitchell (bass and drum programming), Chris Rea (slide guitar),
Churcho Merchan (guitars, bass, backing vocals), Stuart Mackillop (keyboards),
Blair Mackichan (addional backing vocals), Guy Pratt (bass), Miles Bould (drums),
and Adam Drake (guitars).
Clearly the most catchy track of the album is "When It's Over"
with its obvious single potential. Lush instrumentals perfectly compliment
Maggie's stunning lead and additional layers of backing vocals. The ballad
"Always You" is, by stark contrast, a lovely ballad, lightly instrumented
with simply stunning vocals; tribal sounding layers in the chorus are most
reminscent of Miriam Stockley's style. "I Think It's Gonna Rain" is sung
totally a capella and is a testament to the artist's virtuousity and vocal
Light rocking tracks dominate the balance of the album's set
list. "Always You" blends lovely lead vocals with lush arrangements and
additional vocal layers while electronics dominate arrangements in "Now"
to give it a dance flavour. "Replay" is an evocative, rock-style ballad
with bluesy verses contrasted by choruses having a highly accessible pop
flavour. We quite enjoyed "Talking To Myself" and "Changes" with their
contrasting textures spanning dance electronica, light rock and ballad
styles and soaring lead vocals balanced with layers of backing harmonies.
The album concludes with the upbeat track "Memories" which, like many
of those that precede it balancing lovely lead vocals with backing
layers of harmony vocals and lovely arrangements; percussion is most
notable in the closing track.
The compact disc is accompanied by a lovely booklet with full
size and thumbnail photos of the arist. Lyrics for the track "Adelena" are
included but the others have been omitted. You can read further reviews and
order Maggie Reilly's Starcrossed album from amazon.com at a reasonable price
here. Certainly worth a transatlantic journey, this wonderful Maggie Reilly
album, just like those that precede it, is a must listen!