Image © Aerial Sounds 2001
(04 October 2001) The second album from Philadelphia-based singer
songwriter Mariel is a self-produced twelve track project entitled
Fragment of a Dream (Aerial Sounds (USA) 1004, 2001). Mariel
is one of the few independent artists who has done the almost
impossible. She entered the Top 40 Adult Contemporary Chart in the
radio trade, New Music Weekly July 2000 with her single, "In Between
Days" from her debut CD, The Darkest Angel.
Providing vocals, acoustic guitars, keyboards and programmeing herself,
Mariel has received much praise for her crystal clear, sweet, emotional
voice. Her lyrics have been called beautiful, introspective, and
fearless. She has been compared to classic female singers like Stevie
Nicks, Annie Lennox, and Deborah Harry. Mariel’s live performances are
said to be warm, endearing, and fun. On the latest album she is joined
by Chris Eike (bass), Patrick Van Belle (drums), Chris Mood (electric
guitars), Rob Federici (lead guitar on "All My Heart") and Lino
(classical guitar, bass and programming on "Love Fades Away").
Fragment of a Dream is comprised of well-produced, catchy,
ethereal pop songs. Her voice is well suited to the range of
guitar-laced styles included on the recording and is consistently
mixed well above the instrumental arrangements. Upbeat tracks
("Cruel Scorpio," "Say What You Mean" and "A Little Soul")
generally have a strong hook and feature notable guitar solos
in the bridges with Mariel's voice soaring as lead and harmony
vocal lines resume.
Mariel's sweet voice rings through in the album's softer
ballads ("Love Fades Away" and "Blind Faith")
soaring above the light primarily acoustic instrumental
arrangements. More thickly arranged, the soft electronically
accompanied ballads ("Do It Again," "All My Heart," "Wish,"
"Limits" and "Fragments Of A Dream") are evocatively sung with
stunning and lush vocal harmonies.
Accompanied by rocking electric guitar, Mariel's soaring crystalline
vocals—mixed way way up where Musical Discoveries' readers like
them—make "A Little Soul" one of the album's standout tracks. We
were reminded immediately of 10,000 Maniacs recordings featuring Mary
Ramsey in the catchy, slightly country and western-style tunes ("What
I Want" and "Lost My Love").
Mariel's second album Fragments of a Dream is a wonderful
followup to her debut The Darkest Angel
You can find further information, photos and soundbites at Mariel's
website and order the new album from
here. Worth a journey, the Mariel's album is a very nice listen.