(23 November 2000) The debut album from Julienne Taylor
is entitled Racing The Clouds Home (Virgin Music (UK) CDV2931, 2000)
and two singles have already been released featuring tracks from the album
which blends traditional with
contemporary and almost-pop sensibilities. Julienne is the latest singing
sensation from Scotland. Supported by guest musicians—Gordon Campbell,
Richie Harrison, Rab Howat, Finlay MacDonald, Dougie Pinckock, Chris
Stout and Stuart Wood—the album is a certain to further her international
Racing The Clouds Home opens with Julienne's stunning
a capella opening to the track "Rose of Sweethay." Keys accompany the
latter half of the song, sung sensitively introducing listeners to the
whispiness of Julienne's voice. A wonderful cover of the Fleetwood Mac
classic "Second Hand News" backed with a blend of traditional Celtic and
contemporary accompaniment immediately broadens the appeal of Julienne's
vocal talent to a wider audience; it is no wonder why the label elected
to feature this track as the album's first single. The whistle part
perfectly compliments the vocal layers in the song's choruses.
"Just Let Me Be" is gentle country style ballad accompanied
acoustically with layers of heavenly vocals adding texture to the chorus.
The country sounds are further emphasized in the track "Woolball" where
Julienne's lead is perfectly offset by the extensive backing vocal harmonies.
"I Will Protect You" continues in a similar vein but is stronger acoustically
both with traditional and contemporary sounds supporting Julienne's delicate
vocal layers. One is immediately reminded of The Corrs' arrangements in
the upbeat and highly accessible Celtic crossover track "Dreamworld"
written by Stuart Wood who also shares the album's production credit
with Gordon Campbell and Julienne Taylor. Julienne's vocals are generally
whispier and more sensually sung.
"I Would Love You" is a stand-out track on the album. Whispy
lead vocals are supported by light mainly acoustic arrangements. Yet harmony
vocals and Celtic instrument arrangements build towards the chorus
to tremendous power as each crescendo is reached. Julienne's interpretation
of "Caledonia" is performed in a similar light acoustic style. "Land Far
Away" is a traditional-based hymn with new arrangements by the production
team. With extremely light instrumentals, Julienne's voice soars heavenly
and floats well above the keyboards, and demonstrates the artist's
vocal virtuosity. A stunning cover of "I Burn For You" features
soaring whispy lead vocals while traditional instrumentals in the
bridge and lovely harmonies add texture in the chorus.
Clearly "Tell Me Where You're Going" is the most pop-oriented
number on the album. Upbeat and accessible, it blends contemporary with
Celtic instrumentation and crystalline lead and harmony vocals. The album
concludes with "What Am I Gonna Do?", a signature Julienne Taylor and
Gordon Campbell track. Julienne's whispy vocals soar above further
supporting layers and are joined by light acoustic arrangements that
build in the chorus.
Julienne Taylor's Racing The Clouds Home is a
stunning debut album from a rapidly rising Scottish singer and songwriter.
Certain to please fans of All About Eve, The Corrs and even Enya, this
twelve track is certain to widespread commercial success and critical
acclaim. While currently only available in the European Community
as a domestic product, we're certain it will find equivalent success
in other territories. There are soundbites available at the artist's
website that should be explored further.
Order your copy from amazon.com
here. Certainly worth a trans-Atlantic
journey, Julienne Taylor's new album is a must listen!