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Magdalene's Garden CD Cover
Image EMI Music Canada 2001

Colette Baron-Reid
Colette Baron-Reid
Image 2001 Billy Warhol


(04 October 2001) Colette Baron-Reid's second album is an ethereal collection of eleven tracks entitled Magdalene's Garden (EMI Music (Canada) 7 2435 27813 2 4, 2001). Richly produced by Eric Rosse, the album clearly features Colette's evocative vocal parts across a vast range of styles. She is supported by a broad range of acoustic and electronic arrangements from an equally wide selection of talented artists.

"Worlds collide on this record: western pop, mixed with hints of trance, dance music, Celtic and middle eastern music, provide the musical backdrop to songs that address love in its deepest forms. Unconditional love, destiny and free will, forgiveness, the sacred and the profane, sensuality and sexuality." Our readers will clearly hear similarities to Aeone (review) and Mae McKenna (review) when listening to the album.

Vocals have been mixed way up across the album's tracks where Musical Discoveries readers appreciate them. Layers of harmonies support a sensuous and evocative lead vocal track. The album's more ethereal tracks have new age textures supporting Colette's vocals and include the stunning title track and "Fine Line." The lovely soft rock track "Fine Line" is reminscent of Mae McKenna's work on Nightfallers.

Listeners will delight in the way that different styles have been combined within a track. Examples include the R&B and Indian blends within "Look Around" and the hip-hop / ballad blend of "Wide Open Spaces." A similar but even more upbeat blend is evident in "Forgiven." The contrast between Colette's soaring Sarah Brightman-style lead and the backing vocals is dramatic. The evocatively performed heartfelt ballads "Breath Of You" and "Mercy" must be listened to with headphones to appreciate the producers attention to detail in the arrangements.

Upbeat electronic arrangements add to the pop accessibility and radio friendly sound of the Madonna-style "What You Believe." The lovely contrast between the lead vocal line and the sweet harmony backing vocals is quite remarkable. Lushly arranged, the ballad "State of Grace" is dominated by Colette's strong, almost spoken vocal with sung parts soaring well above the instrumentation. The album concludes with Colette's hearfelt, stunning and vocally intensive interpretation of Neil Young's "Old Man." Certainly worth a cross-country journey, Colette's album Magdalene's Garden is a must listen!

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