(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
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!