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While this website has become known for its in-depth album and concert reviews, the digest contains concise comments on new music our audience has either recommended or might enjoy. Click on album covers or label names for links to further information. Click on the title to view the article.

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Operatica O CD Cover
Image E-Magine Entertainment 2001 

(26 September 2002) Operatica's O Volume 1 is the pleasurable debut release produced by Lord Vanger and featuring the brilliant, evocative vocals of beloved opera diva Maureen O' Flynn. Operatica shares much in common with other "classical-crossover" artists like Aria, and Sasha Lazard (both reviewed at Musical Discoveries) who, like Operatica, meld modern day drum loops, ambient and organic instrumentation and classical operatic melodies. Lord Vanger has managed to select beautiful songs that he has attractively rearranged with the addition of club, drum and bass and trance beats. However, Maureen's shimmering and gorgeous vocals remain the highlight of the album.

The songs on O range from the serene to the energetic. The lullaby-ish and romantic L'Heure Exquise combines mesemerizing new age instrumentation and Maureen's pristine voice. "Melancholy Rose," on the other hand, is a Euro-pop sounding number that soars thanks to Maureen's voicings. One of the the loveliest tracks, "O Del Mio Dolce Ardor," relies on carnival-esque rythym and piano to create an air of sweet uncertainty. The more experimental "In the City" is a synthesis of drum and bass percussion, various electronica splashes, and guitar licks. "Dite Oime" is a darkly contrasting track chock full of tragic and ominous shadings.

O makes for wonderful listening, and should appeal to both purists and those who appreciate a touch of experimentation in their music. This music is the perfect antidote for a busy and stressful day. Enjoy it.--Justin Elswick

Read further reviews, listen to soundbites and order the album from amazon.com here. Clearly worth a journey like the ensemble's first album, this one is a very nice listen!

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