(12 December 2002) The latest project from Bernadette McCallion (vocals) is a co-writing collaboration with Rich Gaglia (synths, guitars, programming) who produced Bernadette's first record (Cry Wolf review). The two decided to team up and write a new electronica-pop project together and Never Going Home (Pitch Black Dream (USA) PBD001, 2003) is the result.
Musical Discoveries was provided a pre-release promotional copy for review and we must admit it went into heavy rotation right away. The music is characteristically rhythmic and, as planned, very electronic with effects spanning both instrumental arrangements and treatments applied to Bernadette's sweet vocal lines.
The wave of pop-electronica has caught the attention of Musical Discoveries' visitors with recent reviews of albums like Balligomingo's Beneath The Surface (review) and related albums like Rhys Fulber's Conjure One (review). Some of the percussion and recording effects tend to draw a bit on cliches.
Never Going Home is a well produced selection of etheral vocal tunes and it is certain to draw our readers attention. Instrumentals are well-performed and crisp. Bernadette's evocative vocals span the range of electronica music presented from the clubby sounds of "I Will Wait" and "Feel You" to the rhythmic "That's The Way It Goes" to the gentler and more subtle arrangements of "Just Another Night" and "Tell Me What You Want" which concludes the album.
Of immediate appeal was the intentional lack of extended remix segments so often found on an electronica album. Each song is well-written and well-performed. None of the electronica effects are over-egged; the tracks each sport enough of the technique to make them sensible and accessible.
And we especially liked the treatment of Bernadette's voice. Sweet, sensual and evocative, we heard variations from a densely-layered Julee Cruise-style ("Invitation Only") to that of the singers of Balligomingo--Beverley Staunton, Jody Quine, Jennifer Baldwin, Camille Miller, Colleen Coadic, Jennifer Hershman and Kristy Thirsk--in other tracks like "Until I" and "Remember This."
An album certain to do draw much attention over a broad musical listening spectrum, Never Going Home is worth a long distance journey. Watch for its general availability in early 2003! In the meantime click on the album cover to visit the artists' website.