(03 August 2002) The first full length release by Rose Chronicles is an eleven--plus one hidden bonus--track album entitled Shiver (Nettwerk Productions (Canada) W2-30084, 1994). The band's background is summarised in our review of their debut EP "Dead and Gone to Heaven." The history is further elaborated in our review of their final album Happily Ever After.
Fronted by the powerful versatility of Kristy Thirsk's vocals (see interview link in the left hand column), the band's lineup also includes Richard Maranda (guitars), Judd Cochrane (bass) and Steve van der Woerd (drums and percussion). The album shares "Awaiting Eternity" with the band's previously released EP.
Rose Chronicles' unique sound blends rich rocking guitar- and bass-oriented arrangements with Kristy Thirsk's soaring vocal excursions that explore the versatile singer's full range and include layers of lovely harmonies. Upbeat numbers dominate the album although a few slower and mid-tempo tracks provide variability and add to the album's overall enjoyment. Clearly an album for Kristy Thirsk enthusiasts, listeners will be captured by her sensually pure vocal clarity. Those that discovered Rose Chronicles with "Dead and Gone to Heaven" are certain to be delighted with Shiver.
The lush standout track "Brick and Glue" features Kristy's soaring lead, glorious choral harmonies and contrasting bridge instrumental and rebellious vocal excursions. And in the mid-tempo rocker "Undertow," Kristy's powerful lead vocals and backing harmonies clearly steal the listener's attention away from the richly arranged guitar and bass lines. We especially enjoyed Kristy's harmonious vocal work and high soaring crystalline inflections in the evocative ballad "Visions."
Kristy's vocals are way up in the mix and exhibit vast range explorations in the varied-tempo track "Forgotten." The glorious "Awaiting Eternity" closes out the main portion of the album. The bonus track--an alternative acoustically-driven extended version of "Visions"--begins at the 7:24 mark and is full of soaring vocalise that will floor Kristy Thirsk enthusiasts.
Shiver is indeed a perfect full length introduction to Kristy Thirsk's incredible vocal talent and self-determined versatility. Unfortunately deleted at this writing,
second hand copies are available through a variety of online resources, including amazon.com
Clearly worth a trans-Atlantic journey, the album is highly recommended and certainly is a must listen!