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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.

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Flaming Star
Image © 2001 New World Music

Sally Oldfield Image © 2001 New World Music
 

(29 July 2001) The latest release from Sally Oldfield follows ten successful albums and comprised of eight varying length tracks is entitled Flaming Star (New World Music (UK) NWCD 506, 2001). Richly produced, Sally's beautiful vocals are combined with intricate harmonies, passionate bass rhythms, earthy percussion and divine keyboards to create a powerful contemporary album. From the extremely strong opening title track, to the modern remix of her hit single "Mirrors," Sally demonstrates the beauty and heavenly quality of her music.

Sally Oldfield, sister of Mike and Terry (both reviewed at Musicial Discoveries) Oldfield began her musical career in the late 1970s after leaving Bristol University where she studied English literature and philosophy. She had planned to go on to do a PhD in these subjects but as a result of a powerful and unexpected experience of spiritual revelation, suddenly found herself creating her own songs. She dropped all worldly pursuits to follow a path of spiritual discovery and to attempt to express the results of that in her music.

Her first single "Mirrors" on Bronze Records in 1980 was a world-wide success and coupled with her first album Water Bearer established her as an unusual and original artist with roots in various musical genres such as pop, dance, new age, and more recently sci-fi and space age music.

The album's tracks span a vast range of styles with instrumental and vocal arrangements blending everything from pop to world. It will certainly appeal to enthusiasts of Miriam Stockley, Praise and Enya. The title track "Flaming Star" will blow the listener away with it's lushness while the jazz and world sounds of "Samurai of the Sun" will gently rock tensions away from the most stressful situation. The gentle new age sound of "Bird of Paradise" is dominated by a soaring and sweetly sung lead vocal, somewhat reminscent of Siān James in parts and Beautiful World in others.

While the album's material is excellent in its own right, various combinations of Sally Oldfield, Martin Savale, Robyn Smith are credited with the outstanding production and Kevin Kendle at Eventide Music for mastering the recording. Tremendous instrumental and vocal imaging result from Gregg Jackmann's mixing at Radiation Bungalow. The album was completed in March 2001.

"Ascension" is most reminscent of the world sounds on the two Beautiful World albums. It's rhythmic texture perfectly suits its melody while lovely vocal harmonies contribute to the overall sound and blends into the worldly "One to the Power of One" and Sally's sensuously soaring lead vocal. A stunning extended bass-oriented remix of "Mirrors," building on the production quality of the tracks that precede it, concludes the album.

Sally Oldfield's latest album Flaming Star is a stunning project that will delight her long-term fans as well as those that discover her with this project. You can find further information on Sally Oldfield at the New World Music website. Read further reviews, listen to soundbites and order the album from amazon.com here. Certainly worth a trans-Atlantic journey, Flaming Star is a must listen!

 
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