Image © Andrea J Plamondon 2008
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Image © Andrea J Plamondon 2008
(03 January 2009) The 2008 release by Andrea Plamondon, entitled I Still Remember-A Collection of Songs from San Francisco's Underground 1989-2006, is a 14-song digitally remixed anthology of the artists work spanning the period with five different lineups. The album is clearly a labor of love illustrating the range of the artist's work during this seventeen year period. Andrea's intensely delivered vocals pearce through every track.
Joy Fm tracks vary from the upbeat to the sublime. The album opens with the pulsing and accessible rock of the title track performed by the band. Andrea is backed by Matthew McGee (guitar), David Lister (bass) and Scott Williams (electronic drums). The 80s sound of "No More Silence" continues to illustrate the band's chops and Andrea's vocal dexterity. Recording quality, depth of arrangement and vocal maturity characterize the darker "Devil of Darkness." We appreciated the demonstration of Andrea's sheer power and vast range in the track. The chant and Middle Eastern feel of the final and short Joy Fm track, "Chosen Secrets," clearly contributes to the album's incredible diversity.
Satyrica is the largest and most robust ensemble Andrea presents on this album. She is backed by Andrew Carson and Sean Nolan (guitars, percussion, mandolin); Effie Jacombs and Jason Horn (bass); Allegra Windyworf (violin); Rick Zegri (trapset drums, percussion); Gene McCutcheon, Jun Segura, Phil Cox, Dionne Kohler, John Brick, Justin, Gary, Kyle (jembes, congas, percussion). These individuals probably recorded different tracks on the album. "Hope Springs Eternal" demonstrates the lush arrangements of the ensemble while Andrea's layers of banshee inspired vocals contribute to texture. The rhythmic arrangement of "Five Year Old Sages" and vocal melody contribute to the overall accessibility of the song. The brief mandolin-laced ballad, "Sweet Song," is delicately produced. The final track by Satyrica is a largely instrumental ute progressive epic running almost ten minutes, entitled "The Ground Doubt." The track is full of Andrea's soaring and crystalline experimental vocalise.
Andrea included the track "Little Boy Lost" by Pox Eclipse. She is backed by Chris Ranzo (guitar, ukelele, percussion), Flavia Happ (violin) and two harmonizing vocalists named Sharon and Ananda. Transferred from a cassette recording, the tenderly delivered, yet sonically piercing, ballad "Little Boy Lost" illustrate's the artist's crystalline vocals work atop the lightest arrangement. We would have liked to hear more from this lineup.
There are four tracks by the band Lucid included on this CD. In addition to Andrea, Lucid was comprised of Salena Ugalde (percussion, vocals); Krystl Chamber (vocals); Albert Garcia and Aaron Goldstein (percussion). As one can see from the lineup, Lucid's arrangements are simpler than Andrea's other lineups. "Invisible Animals" is sensually sung by Andrea. The backing harmony vocals work well to add texture especially when Andrea's vocals explode into a siren. The down tempo, percussive arrangement of "Desert March" is contrasted by the vocal work in this most Dead Can Dance-oriented number. We appreciated the rhythmic keyboard arrangement behind the dissonant vocal work in "Gypsy Moon." Lucid's last number on the album is a short number entitled "The Chant Of The Flower."
The album concludes with the new age styled six minute track "Dream" by Dreamstreamusic Inc, a lineup comprised exclusively of Andrea (vocals) with Rob Cowan (soundtrack). We especially appreciated the depth of the instrumental arrangement and Andrea's perfectly complimenting vocalise. Andrea Plamondon's seventeen year anthology is a testament to the range and depth of the artist's work.
This album is currently available online at CDBaby and amazon.com. What will Andrea do for an encore, more with Dreamstreamusic? We hope so!