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Second Nature CD Cover
Image Flavour Of Sound (Japan) 2001

Second Nature USA Image Narada Records 2003
 

(09 January 2002) I have been following Miriam's career since Adiemus became popular in 1995, and it seems that the wonderful musical experiences will not be ending yet. Miriam's superb voice still warms, relaxes, soothes and gives power on this brand new solo album of her, Second Nature (Flavour Of Sound (Japan) FVCK 80146, 2001).

Already when listening the album for the very first time I was taken by surprise how much Miriam has improved through these years that I have been listening her music. Her new album is very versatile, both compositionally and when taking also other kinds of musical aspects into account.

On Second Nature, there are even more different musical styles that have been mixed together: thanks to her versatility, Miriam can now sing nearly whatever style is wanted. For example, "Ifemeli" has Afro-American (even Latin American) influences, "Butterfly" shows how well Miriam's voice suits jazz singing, while the sweet "A Finnish Summer Night - Finlandia" is a superb ballad-type song and one of my absolute favourites! I think that the African mood is the most recognisable style used, but for a South-African born singer it's a small wonder.

But I think that writing lyrics in many languages instead of using English all the time is nowadays an important thing: by doing this it is one of the most outstanding ways to personalise as a singer-songwriter. Otherwise the singers would be far too similar.

All the pieces are catchy and it's not difficult at all to listen to them. Only the increased usage of electrical instruments and drums may annoy some of the fans who have been used to like the peaceful solo album Miriam. Also, although there are some "Adiemus-like" characteristics in some of the pieces, this doesn't mean that the album is more like Adiemus. Instead, it's 100% Miriam Stockley, mainly Miriam's own style in its purest with only few things in common with Adiemus.

In addition to the new "Finlandia" version--the composer is by the way one of Karl Jenkins's favourites, Mr. Jean Sibelius--there is one song which some of the fans may have heard before, and this is "Massai Rain." Because it was not released in all over the world a while back, I think that it was a good thing to have the track included in Second Nature because there are many fans who haven't had any chances to get the track heard before this.

Now that Miriam has released two recent solo albums, it would be a good time to get her on to stage to perform these wonderful songs throughout the world and therefore make her own music more known, because it deserves to become as world-renowned as her other "project", Adiemus! A music video or two might be a better solution in the meantime, but it's never too late to stop hoping for that there may be some concerts organised in the future. At least we have now two recent first-class albums to be enjoyed: Miriam and this brand new release Second Nature!--Suvi Kaikkonen

Read further reviews, listen to soundbites and order the album from amazon.com here. Clearly worth a trans-Atlantic journey, this Miriam Stockley is a must listen!  

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