home   site updates   review digest   reviews   featured artists   discussion   links   about us  
 
Description
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.

Content
Celtic Mystique
Infinity
West Of Eden
Candy Sanders
Darby DeVon
Gabrielle Angelique
Michaela Foster-Marsh
Mulberry Lane
17 Reasons Why
Sally Anthony EPs
Mythos

Links
Digest Index
More Digest Entries
Previous Digest Entries
Instrumental Digest
 
Celtic Mystique CD Cover
Image © Tandem Music Group 1999

Life/Beats Celtic Mystique CD Cover Image © Life! Beats 2000
 

(16 April 2000) The latest compilation album from Tandem Music Group (Canada), entitled Celtic Mystique (Cat. No. ACD 711-2, 1999) with a catch phrase "Women Of Song" is comprised of twelve contemporary Celtic tracks featuring as many female vocalists. Similar in style but with slightly more contemporary tracks than Faire Celts (review), this compilation has also been released by Sattva Music Verlag of Germany in Europe's Benelux and GAS countries plus Portugal and Israel, although in a different configuration and under the title Barrachash—Celtic Jewels. It has also been released in Scotland by Highlander Records, in Taiwan by Jingo Records, and in the US (with a different cover) and on a non-exclusive basis) by Metacom Music. Tandem Music Group President Graham Way oversaw the creation and production of the album. He told us, "It was a labour of love for me, albeit an arduous one in terms of putting it all together." Additional details are available at the label's website.

We were quite pleased to see the label include "On Heaven's Shore" from Mae McKenna's latest album (review) as well as "Bird Of Paradise" from Carmina's Pippa Marland. Both artists are extremely gifted and their work should be further explored. Also included are renditions of songs made popular by other artists or of traditional origin. A stunning version of "Circle Of Stone" by Laura Powers and "Danny Boy" by Sheila Ryan are examples. Jennifer White's "Loch Lamond" is yet another.

The album's highlight is "Ancient Souls" by Gabrielle Angelique. This progressive Celtic number combines the young lady's incredible vocal work with contemporary orchestral instrumentation and illustrates the promise of this emerging talent. Graham Way told us, "[the song] was produced by me in Vancouver specifically for this album. Gabrielle recorded a self-produced album [entitled Echo] of original material a couple of years ago ... a noble first effort ... Since recording "Ancient Souls" for us a year ago we have been discussing with her and her family the recording of a complete album of celtic-influenced/pop contemporary music. Gabrielle performs in the Minnesota area."

Another one of our favourites from the album is Darby DeVon's "Highlands," the title track from her album; it is an Enya-like track with much thicker orchestral instrumentation. Musical Discoveries plans to review more of Darby's work in the future. Anne Martin, hailing from Scotland's Isle of Skye, sings "Oran Leannan Sithe," and is reminscent of Karen Matheson of Capercaillie. Sharon Murpny's "Homes Of Donegal" and Jennifer Parsignault's "Prayer for St. Symin" are both a traditional-sounding Celtic hymns made more contemporary through their rich instrumental arrangements.

You can hear soundbites of every song, read reviews and order the album at amazon.com. The album is also available directly from the Tandem Music Group website. This compilation serves as a fabulous introduction to several of Musical Discoveries' editors' favourite artists as well as some exciting new talent that we hope to review further in the future. The package is stunning in every respect with classy liner notes featuring images of every one of the artists, a summary of their background and information about the specific tracks included. Worth a cross-country journey, it is absolutely a must listen!

 
Infinity (Compilation) CD Cover
Image © 2000 Real Music 
 

(16 April 2000) The latest new age compilation by Real Music (USA), entitled Infinity (Cat. No. RM2350, 2000) is the follow up to the highly successful 1999 album Touching Beauty and the ongoing bestseller Eternity, A Romantic Collection. The album is comprised by twelve tracks from various artists, incorporating heavenly female vocals on and off throughout the album. The album's executive producer is Terence Yallop. Just like Real Music's Ceredwen (review) and 2002 (review) albums, the packaging and technical production quality is first rate.

The album opens with a lovely new age instrumental entitled "Love's Story" by Paul Machlis. The lullaby sounding "Silence" from Through These Eyes by Bliss is filled with stunning heavenly vocals combining scat with lyrics, and is one of the album's treasures. Hilary Stagg's "Sweet Return" from the album of the same name is played primarily on harp and other strings, yet Enya-like vocalise adds to the texture of the soothing track. The piano number "I Watched Her from Afar" by Brian BecVar has a lovely melody. Congratulations to Real Music for including the very Enya-like track "Elysian Fields" and another more independent sounding song entitled "Starwalkers"—both from 2002's latest album (review).

Kevin Kern's "To Sleep on Angels' Wings" is a Celtic-derived string-based instrumental with a lovely and soft melody. Vocalise and keyboards join the strings to add depth to the track. Kern's new age instrumental cover of Elton John's "We All Fall in Love Sometimes," also included on this album, is especially memorable. Jim Chappell's soft piano melody in "Precious Memories" is very soothing bridging 2002's "Starwalkers" to the crisp harp and string-intensive melody of "For My Love" by Hilary Stagg.

Gary Remal Malkin's short and quietly symphonic soundtrack-like instrumental "The First Night" from his album Thousand Pieces Of Gold is a worldly track from 1992. We especially enjoyed the brief whistle part. Infinity concludes with Egil Fylling's nine-minute epic "Anahata" from the forthcoming album of the same name. Here worldly instrumentals using a variety of strings, bell-like effects, whistle and other keyboard sounds join choral vocalise to produce a stunning new age track.

You can hear further soundbites, read reviews and order the album at amazon.com. The latest compilation from Real Music Inifinity contains almost an hour of modern new age instrumental music, much laced with female vocals. Certainly worthy of further exploration it is a very nice listen.

 
West Of Eden (Debut) CD Cover
Image © 1997 Tandem Records / Excellent Music 
 

(16 April 2000) West Of Eden's "This Piece Of Earth" is included in Narada's Faire Celts compilation (review). Their debut self-titled album (Tandem Records (Ireland) EKGCD002, 1997) is comprised of twelve progressive and traditional Celtic-flavoured tracks featuring the stunning lead vocal work of Jenny Schaub. She has been praised by Rock 'n Reel for her vocal work, being called "a primetime Sandy Denny." Clearly the traditional sounding track "Waltz For My Father" illustrates her vocal dexterity.

West Of Eden are from Gothenburg, Sweden. The group was formed in 1995 by four friends that had a desire to play Irish music. West Of Eden combine the musical language of traditional Celtic music with their own more pop-oriented background. Instrumentally West Of Eden mix electric guitars, keyboards, drums and bass with traditonal instruments like whistles, fiddle, accordian and mandolin. The result is a progressive Celtic sound, certain to please those with traditional as well as contemporary preferences. Further information about the band, images and soundbites are available at their website.

The ballad "Shamrock Hotel" opens the album. Jenny's stunning vocal is accompanied by a lovely piano melody and a calling whistle part. "This Piece Of Earth" is a new age Celtic combination arranged with lots of strings and brightly sung lead vocal. Certain to please many audiences is the track "High Ground," a contemporary track with crystalline vocals that rise above shimmering well-arranged instrumentals. "Hide and Seek" and "Where The Ivy Is Growing" are both soothing traditionally-rooted ballads enriched with bass and lovely harmonies.

"Raising O'Malley's Barn" is a moving traditional Celtic pop crossover track with excellent instrumental arrangements with lead vocals sung by Martin Schaub. He also sings the contemporary and well-arranged ballad "Ripperton Road" and upbeat folk tune backed by mandolin entitled "Common Wonders." "I Don't Care" is a traditional folk song with lots of accordian and whistle led by Jenny's vocals.

Crisp percussion and rich symphonic orchestration back Jenny in the hymn-like track entitled "King" and the contemporary Celtic piece "Endless Sea." Both are very memorable and highlight the band's virtuousity.

West Of Eden's debut self-titled album is a wonderful combination of traditional and contemporary Celtic crossover music by a talented group of musicians. The majority of their tracks are highly memorable and several are awe inspiring. The album is available from the group's website and local distributors in various territories. Worthy of further exploration and a long distance journey, the album is a very nice listen!

 
Candy Sanders Gangster Of Love CD Cover
Image © 1998 Sweet Sound Music 
 

(17 April 2000) Candy Sanders' debut album Gangster Of Love (Sweet Sound Music (USA), CMC1998, 1998) is comprised of twelve alternative rock tracks, sung in a Kate Bush, maybe even Michelle Young, theatrical style. From Staten Island, NY, Candy has been a celebrated performer since the age of three! Her voice certainly combines the qualities of Kate Bush, Cyndi Lauper and Natalie Imbruglia. In addition to recording, Candy has performed in Broadway shows, off-Broadway, Cabaret Clubs, Musical Reviews, Summer Stock and Dinner Theatres. She also has her own Cable Television series called Candy's Music Club which has just won three Nova (Notable and Outstanding Video Achievement) awards. She has also won numerous other entertainment industry awards. Lots of further information is available at her website. With all tracks written by Candy herself, this debut album runs just under an hour.

The album opens with the rocking "Hell To Pay," a track with soaring lead vocals, clearly illustrating the artist's prowess and stylistic similarity to Kate Bush. The underlying instrumental reminded us of Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit." "Black & White Blues" and "Don't Stop" are moving blues numbers with sparse instrumentation, crisp percussion and evocative solo vocals. The track "Little Pieces (Candy Mix)" has a new wave structure but has soaring vocals a la Kate Bush—the similarity of sound is daunting. As implied by two of the titles, the club mix of "Little Pieces," "Dancin'" and "Diamond Cutter" are club-oriented tracks with lots of percussion, eery instrumentation, and the most evocative, sensual vocals.

The album's title track continues in a similar vein; here crisp percussion and light instrumentation accompany Candy's Betty-Boop—think Cyndi Lauper—like vocals. The vocals in "Midnite Lover" are similar but the song has a lovely melody and a catchy chorus. "Funky Stuff" is more heavily arranged instrumentally; bluesy in its construction, the vocals lie in between the Kate Bush and Cyndi Lauper styles, soaring evocatively at times. A lovely moving ballad entitled "One Kiss" is a highly accessible almost 60s love song effectively combining instrumental and vocal arrangements. The album concludes with "Italian Girl," a highly accessible and sensitively sung rock number.

Candy Sanders' music should be further explored by those that enjoy the music of Kate Bush and Cyndi Lauper. Her album can be obtained via her website and you can hear sound samples at her mp3.com website. This first album, featuring Candy's own tracks and stunning vocal work is worth a journey. For Kate Bush and Cyndi Lauper enthusiasts, it is a must listen!

 
Darby DeVon Highlands
Image © 1999 Etherean Music 
 

(13 May 2000) The title track of Darby DeVon's 11-track album Highlands (Etherean Music (USA) 97347 35012, 1999) is also featured on the Celtic Mystique compilation (review). A reprise concludes the album and brackets nine Celtic-tinged vocally rich new age pieces. DeVon's music will certainly appeal to enthusiasts of Maire Brennan, Enya and Miriam Stockley. While the music is instrumentally rich with accordian, hammered dulcimer, fiddle, violin, viola, cello, recorder and double bass joining contemporary keyboards and guitars, Darby's extensive vocal contribution is the driving force within the music with both lyrical and vocalise passages. A lovely booklet complete with song backgrounds explaining the theme of the album accompanies the compact disc.

The title track is a highly instrumental number filled with stunning vocalise. "The Knight At Dublin Castle" is a moving and catchy Celtic ballad balancing traditional with contemporary instrumentation while instrumentals and vocalise characterise the contemporary ballad "The Quest of Lia Fall." A certain favourite track is "Daydreams." It is a very accessible rhythmic Enya-like number with layers of vocalise supporting a lovely and sensitively sung lead vocal. Allusions to Enya's style return in "Together We Fly. Upbeat and dynamic contemporary instrumentals join traditional sounds and layers of vocalise cohesively bind the song together.

"Valparaiso" is a lovely ballad, most reminiscent of Miriam Stockley's "Song Of The Seahorse." From the liner notes, "A mystical and intuitive interpretation of this reflective composition by Sting mirrirs the Hero's pensive inner landscape." Evocatively sung in all respects, backing vocals add to the texture of the otherwise simple instrumentation of the track.

The album's pure instrumentals include the soft "Passage to Iona" arranged in a Renaissance (-faire) style with a calling recorder and hammer dulcimer playing highly notable parts. Another is "Oghma's Return" mixing traditional Irish jig-like passages with the more military themes of Scottish Celtic music. The reprise of "Highlands" is reminscent of the tracks that precede it, clearly illustrating the variety of instrumental arrangements within the album.

Darby DeVon's debut album Highlands is certainly one of the finest new age-oriented albums we've heard this year and filled with stunning vocals and well-written and performed instrumental arrangements, worth a cross-country journey, is a must listen!

 
Gabrielle Angelique Echo
Image © 1998 Lantern Productions 
 

(13 May 2000) Gabrielle Angelique's stunning and richly arranged song "Ancient Souls" is featured in the Celtic Mystique compilation (review). Hailing from Minneapolis, MN, Gabrielle's debut album, Echo (Lantern Productions (USA), 1998), includes thirteen vocally- or instrumentally-oriented tracks with a variety of keyboard-based instrumentation. With the exception of lyrics on two of the album's tracks ("Star Seeds" and "Where I Run To" by Anna Klein), the entire project was written and performed by the artist herself; the recording was completed when she was only 17 and was digitally mastered on her Yamaha MX-3. The title of the album is based on a poem by Christina Rosetti (1830-1894); Renaissance fans will recall that Rosetti wrote the hymn "In The Bleak Midwinter" recorded by Annie Haslam and Michael Dunford as Nevada in 1980.

Gabrielle's debut album drew attention from Tandem Music's Graham Way who arranged for Gabrielle to train with Canada's Jan Cooper, one of North America's top pop vocal and talent development coaches. The resulting three-way collaboration produced "Ancient Souls" for Celtic Mystique when Gabrielle was 18—the song illustrates significant artistic development from her debut and the tremendous potential of this singer / songwriter / harpist. Gabrielle has just finished her first solo harp album. Entitled Light, it will be released in June 2000.

Echo's tracks are primarily soft ballads or instrumentals alternating between classical derivations, new age sounds and soft rock. Many of the tracks feature complex orchestral arrangements while soaring vocal excursions are most reminscent of progressive rock artist Sally French especially in the incredible epic "The Third Insight." Moody and evocative soprano vocals carry many of the songs and are supported by lovely and highly impressive classically-derived and expansive instrumental arrangements. "Creation," "Monsoon" and "Where I Run To" both contain a stunning piano solos.

Masterful of her keyboard both in songwriting and arranging as well as instrumental sample selections, Gabrielle's songs are equally written to demonstrate the breadth of her vocal talent. Multi-tracking is used in various places within the album to add texture and additional dimension to the songs. Vocal passages are evocative, sensual and sensitive, soaring to effectively illustrate emotional content.

Ocean effects compliment instrumental arrangements in "Ancient Travelers," an upbeat instrumental piece that effectively combines new age sounds with contemporary themes. A similar sound emerges from the lovely instrumental "Awakening" while "Star Seeds" is a folk rock ballad with a rich orchestral arrangement and a stunning lead vocal part. The album concludes with "Where I Run To," a lovely ballad sung over light piano accompaniment.

Gabrielle's debut album is available from the artist's website. Echo is a lovely album in all respects. With expressive vocals and imaginative songwriting, it is a fantastic introduction to this talented young woman and certainly worth a long-distance journey; we think it is a must listen!

 
Michaela Foster-Marsh Fairy Tales and the Death Of Innocence
Image © 1998 Michaela Foster-Marsh 
 

(13 May 2000) The debut album from Scottish born and now Canadian singer / songwriter / piano player Michaela Foster-Marsh is entitled Fairy Tales & the Death of Innocence (Kavanagh Productions (Canada) HD3078, 1998). The stunning recording is comprised of eleven heartfelt vocally-intensive tracks that are complimented by lush atmospheric and orchestral instrumental arrangements. Lyrically as strong as the beauty of the music and performances, the songs are "born from the artist's experience on how the paradoxes, tensions and conflicting aspects of life affect us all." The artist's live performances are reported to be intimate experiences and should not be missed.

With musical influences of Kate Bush, Pink Floyd, Beethoven, Enigma and Celtic artists, comparisons of her music are often made to that of Tori Amos, Sarah McLachlan, Loreena McKennitt, Kate Bush, Natalie Merchant, Joni Mitchell, Ani DeFranco, Fiona Apple, and Sheryl Crow are often made. An occasional allusion to Stevie Nicks may also be evident to some listeners. The debut album is a collarobration with Toronto-based, Juno Award winning producer Greg Kavanagh. Michaela has a wonderful voice that is certain to appeal to a broad range of audiences.

While some of the album's tracks move right along and almost rock ("Right Now," "Falling Angel" and "Naked in the Water"), the majority of the songs are whispier ballads sung evocatively over orchestrally lush accompaniment. We were especially drawn to the moving ballad "Fallen Angel" with it's contemporary keyboard-based instrumental arrangement and most sensitive yet powerful lead vocal. Michaela recently recorded a video to promote the worldly track "Naked In The Water" in Toronto with images that effectively accompany the various passages of the song and also illustrate her physical beauty.

The album's ballads are evocatively sung and lightly accompanied by strings and piano. "The Maker or the Holy Man" has gently soaring vocal excursions that perfectly support the lyrical content. "Rag Doll" is performed in a similar style. A lovely piano melody underscores a beautiful vocal lead in "Drawn;" strings add additional textures underscoring the message. The album's concluding track is a lovely ballad accompanied primarily by piano with light strings entitled "The Other Side."

The album has several blues oriented numbers; in "Time Bomb" vocals and strings produce the desired effect. "Obvious" is performed in a lighter vein with sounds equally bordering soft folk rock and blues undertones. The title track is a bluesy ballad carried by stunning lead vocals completely illustrative of the artist's vocal talent and is accompanied by the lightest string arrangements in the first movement. Thicker arrangements build as the song develops with crisp percussion, more dynamic instrumentation and soaring vocal passages. A similar style is evident in the bluesy ballad "Torn To Bits" with it's orchestral instrumental backing arrangement.

You can read further reviews, hear sound samples and order Michaela's album Fairy Tales & The Death Of Innocence from amazon.com here. With a broad range of styles, excellent songwriting and instrumental arrangements joining her amazing vocal prowess, Michaela's album is a must listen!

 
Mulberry Lane Run Your Own Race
Image © 1999 Refuge Records 
 

(13 May 2000) The second album by Mulberry Lane is entitled Run Your Own Race (Refuge (USA) RFGDE-11911, 1999). Their debut, Don't Cry 'Till You Get To The Car from 1998 remains generally available today (review). Their latest release includes a lovely booklet with photos, lyrics and further background information both on the performers and the songs themselves.

The album cover shows that Mulberry Lane are four gorgeous singer songwriter sisters—Jaymie, Allie, Rachel and Heather—ranging in age from 22 to 28. Creative spirits influended by timeless pop forerunners like the Beatles, the Eagles and Boys II Men, the band creates poetic lyrics, catchy tunes and sings wonderful vocal harmonies not unlike Wilson Phillips and The Corrs. In their most recent album, the band aligned with executive producer Don Gehman, founder of Refuge and producer of major performers John Mellencamp, Tracy Chapman, Hootie & the Blowfish and others.

Run Your Own Race is comprised of ten highly accessible alternative tracks ranging from moving alternative pop rock numbers to sensitively sung ballads. Vocal harmonies dominate the band's sound. The band's debut single "Harmless" was well charted in four territories (US, Japan, Germany and Holland) and received rave reviews. An upbeat pop number similar in some ways to Wilson Phillips' hit "Hold On" typifies the Mulberry Lane style with heartfelt lyrics, a catchy melody and lovely vocal harmonies. The followup single from the new album "Just One Breath" secured a spot in Kevin Costner's movie For Love of the Game. A slower almost-ballad number, it is more lightly instrumented but is equally lush in its vocals with a stunning lead standing above the supporting harmonies. "I Don't Love You" is written and performed in a similar, highly accessible style.

Contrasting the alternative pop numbers are the album's ballads ("The Why," "Crisis Time," "Just Another Friday" and "Sisters Case"). Here Jaymie's or Allie's lead—like Andrea Corr—shine above Rachel's alto and low harmonies and Heather's sensual high part. The sultry sound of "Crisis Time" and rich supporting harmonies in "Sisters Case are especially notable. The album's light pop tracks ("I Believe It's Love," "Jerimiah," "I Don't Know How To Deal") are as enjoyable as the fast paced rockers and ballads and continue to illustrate the lead singers'virtuousity.

"In a time when pre-fabricated groups are all over the charts, ML stands out from the rest because they are a product of their own creation and vision. The e-mails they receive come from girls who are inspired by Mulberry Lane because they prove that females in today's music industry can make it on their own music, voices, thoughts and brains." You can read further reviews, listen to sound samples and order their album Run Your Own Race from amazon.com here. We hope to review their debut album eventually but until then you can learn more about it with reviews, samples and ordering information here. With a broad range of alternative / pop song styles, excellent songwriting and instrumental arrangements joining their amazing vocal talents, Mulberry Lane's latest album is a must listen!

 
17 Reasons Why - The Dark Years - CD Cover
Image © Laundry Room Records 1997 
 

(13 May 2000) Winners of the 1998 Musician Magazine Best Unsigned Band Competition 17 Reasons Why's debut album is entitled The Dark Years (Laundry Room Records (USA) LRR9609, 1997). The 11-track recording is comprised of rocking numbers and ballads fronted by vocalist and rhythm guitar player Sattie Clark. The Portland, Oregon-based band also includes Chris Nolan (bass), Kirk Nebel (lead guitar), Eric Kaster (drums) and Abbie Gonzalez (harmony vocals). The album is easy to listen to and draws interest from first listen and the opening rocker "Look For You."

Vocals throughout the album are mixed way up, just as Musical Discoveries readers typically like them. Sattie's voice is reminsicent of Maria Miller (Crannog), especially in the softly rocking "Independence" and "Mercy." Vocal harmonies provide additional texture to the tracks when they are included.

The album's more rocking numbers pay equal attention to the vocals, never drowning them out with guitar-based instrumentals. "Intense," "Mercy" and the highly accessible "Parallel Lines" are examples of the band's most dynamic sounds. The rhythmic "Rearview Mirror" is a slower rock number; the impressive guitar parts within it seem to work well with the range of Sattie's vocals adding substantial atmosphere to the track. We were most reminded of the early 70s with the highly accessible rock'n'roll number "Nothing Left To Talk About" which has a chorus with a real hook and a harmonica to add texture to the overall sound.

17 Reasons Why music can evoke a broad range of emotions. In "Splinter" a soft rock theme joins an otherwise bluesy vocal and supporting instrumental texture. "Birthday" goes deeper into a raunchier blues-like theme. The ballad "The Dream Inside The Dream" draws on other strings to produce an extremely sensuous and evocative sound. A soft ballad entitled "White Linen" concludes the album and features Satties most sensitive vocals over light acoustic guitar and light strings alone. A lovely bonus track well into the twelfth slot features sensitive vocals over a very light piano acompaniment is actually a unique reprise of "Splinter."

You can read further reviews, listen to sound samples and order their album The Dark Years from amazon.com here. With a broad range of adult alternative rock songs and excellent songwriting joining Sattie Clark's vocal talents, 17 Reasons Why's album is worth a journey and is a very nice listen!

 
Sally Anthony One Word Poetry Contest
Image © 1998 Elsie Records



Sally Anthony The Preview
Image © 2000 Elsie Records
 

(13 May 2000) Singer / songwriter Sally Anthony has not yet released an album but has generated two EPs; One Word Poetry Contest is the artist's five-track debut and The Preview is a four-track followup. Her "vocal style blends powerful alternative with soulful R&B, and delivers a strong performance of original material." Two tracks from her debut album were picked up for the independent film Loser Love starring Lauren Hutton and Burt Young.

The first EP spans the range of the artist's styles. "They Say" develops into a lush rocking number complete with hook in its chorus. "Places" is a soft ballad, most illustrative of Sally's vocal prowess, full of emotion with sensitive and sensual vocal performances. We were most reminded of Andrea Corr in this performance. Backing vocals are effective in adding texture to the track. "Mary" is a dynamic alternative rock ballad with moving choruses full of lush backing vocals, heavy guitar and soaring lead vocals. Sally's soaring vocals carry the sensitive ballad "Witness" which builds in lushness as the song develops. "Phil 4: II" is a rhythmic rocker with highly experimental and imaginative vocals.

Sally Anthony's second EP, The Preview picks up where her first left off. With touring and further studio work among her accomplishments, production is more lush, and vocals are clearer from the outset. "Martyr" is a modern alternative rock track with a quick lead vocal supported by soaring harmonies and loads of guitar. Experimental style vocals heard earlier in "Phil 4," continue in "Never Here" but are supported by additional harmonies characteristic of this second EP. "Fleeting" is the EP's soft and heartfelt ballad sung over piano. Lovely harmonies support the lead vocal track and add texture to the overall sound. We were again reminded of Andrea Corr with Sally's vocal performance. The EP concludes with the dynamic rocker "I Know You." Here powerful vocal performance are underscored by rich guitar-based instrumentation. The EP certainly illlustrates the professional development of this stunning vocal artist.

With two EPs now under her belt, it seems that Sally Anthony is ready to generate a full length album. She has illustrated a broad range of talent, both in singing and songwriting and the range of styles is dramatic. Both will interest female vocal enthusiasts and are available from the artist's website. Worth a journey, they are a nice listen!

 
Mythos The Reality Of A Dreamer - Click To Visit Their New Website
Image © 2000 Higher Octave Music 
 

(13 May 2000) The second album from Mythos, a project led by Bob D'Eith and Paul Schmidt, is entitled The Reality Of A Dreamer (Higher Octave Music (USA) HOMCD 49807, 2000). Their second album again "blends sounds that are purely organic and human (soaring vocals, piano and guitar) with electronic foundations and atmospheres from the synthesizer." Many of the album's tracks would be equally comfortable in a major film soundtrack.

The debut album by Mythos debut album received critical acclaim (review). The album is produced by Bob D'Eith (piano and keyboard); co-writer Paul Schmidt also plays guitars. Vocals are by the two extremely talented vocalists Christine Duncan and Jennifer Scott and while dominated by ethereal soaring vocalise, one track entitled "Vision II" is actually the first by the Mythos to contain lyrics. A stunning piano solo in the instrumental ballad "Fantasy" is especially noteworthy. Similarly, the Spanish classical guitar within "Reveries" is completely illustrative of Paul Schmidt's capability and a lovely illustration of his talent.

Jennifer's numbers include "Requiem," "Solstice," "Destiny," "The Ring" and "Redemption" while Christine Duncan's include "Venice" "Vision I" and "Vision II." Her singing is restricted to layers of soprano vocalise and adds significant texture to the world music inspired rhythmic tunes of varying tempos. The epic "Solstice" is reminiscent of Enya's tunes in some places. Her soaring ethereal vocalise in "Destiny" is awe inspiring and perfectly compliments the instrumental arrangements. "The Ring" is a lovely track that combines piano and guitar with layers of Jennifer's soaring vocalise scales and numerous vocal harmonies while "Redemption" mixes electronic instrumentation with her powerful soaring voice. Christine Duncan's soulful vocals contribute to the atmospheric sounds of "Venice" and are illustrative of the vocalist's prowess, expansive range and dynamic performance.

"Vision 1" is a dance-oriented instrumental number with Christine Duncan on vocalise and is likely as comfortable on a new age album as it would be on a dance CD. The stunning version with lyrics entitled "Vision II" is also sung by Christine Duncan and concludes the album. Her performance is sensual, evocative and soulful. A video of the song is available in RealAudio at the Spark Records website.

You can read further reviews, listen to sound samples and order the Mythos album The Reality Of A Dreamer from amazon.com here. With a broad range of rhythmic worldly beats, stunning vocals and their first number with lyrics, this new album by Mythos is stunning in every respect. Worth a journey, it is a very nice listen!

 
» return to top «
last updated on:                   0.00302 seconds to generate