(14 January 2001) The first "official" solo release by
Mary Fahl since the demise of October Project is a four-track EP entitled
Selections from Lenses of Contact (Roughmix (USA) 6 34457 13502,
2000). Mary fronted October Project for their two albums on Epic
but went her own way when the band was dropped after the initial tour
supporting the band's second album. A live video released by the
band during their heyday-the holy grail amongst October Project
fans-illustrates the singer's unsurpassed stage presence and
ability to capture an audience. October Project's two albums
are still available and continue to attract worldwide acclaim.
Produced by Jeffrey Lesser, the EP was recorded in New York
at RPM Studio. Additional artists include Scott Healy (music direction,
piano), Shawn Pelton (drums), Tony Garnier (bass), Glenn Alexander (guitars),
Glenn Patscha (keyboards, backing vocals), Larry Saltzman (electric guitars).
Lyrics and music are by Mary Fahl in various combinations with others.
While the arrangements are somewhat less lush than October
Project, it is hard not to hear the band's sound with Mary's voice leading
the way. Mary's soaring voice opens the album with "Raging Child" wringing
of emotion. Instrumentals are richly arranged perfectly supporting the
power and range of Mary's vocal part. A slow-moving ballad primarily
accompanied by piano entitled "Paolo" follows. Although the EP is
classified as being a collection of rough mixes, this, like the others
is quite good with vocals mixed way up, right where our editors like them;
and Mary is in fine form.
"Meant to Say" moves along more quickly while light guitar,
keyboard and crisp percussion underscore the lead vocal part. Soaring
vocalise is extremely reminscent of Mary's earlier work and it is easy
to understand why her voice has been compared to a full body red wine
in the delivery. Emotion and sensuality come through with every note
The slow moving and evocative ballad "Redemption" closes
the EP. Like "Raging Child" and "Paolo" this track was performed in her
early solo performances, including The Fez on September 29, 1999. The
arrangements are more polished here and clearly this EP has whet our
appetite further for the full length album.
You'll be able to read further reviews and order the
EP from amazon.com
here. Downloads are available at the Roughmix
Clearly a recording for Mary's fans from prior days and one that will
attract a broader audience, this EP is worth a trans-Atlantic journey and
is a must listen!