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Current concise reviews of the albums by adult alternative, contemporary, and crossover artists. Images of album artwork and links to both internet-based resources are always included. Click on the title to view the article.

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Maggie Reilly Starcrossed
Image © 1999\r\n\r\nEMI Electrola GmbH  

(30 September 2000) Maggie Reilly's most recent release is entitledStarcrossed (EMI Electrola (Germany) 7243 5 25415 2 2, 2000). In her solocareer that followed a successful association with Mike Oldfield ("Moonlight Shadow," etc.), Reilly has already released three albums, a range of singlesand a best of compilation. Her solo career began with Echoes (1992) andwas immediately followed up by Midnight Sun (1993). After a break, Elena (1997) emerged. The Best Of compilation There And BackAgain actually features a new recording of "Moonlight Shadow." Reilly's latest album is a natural development of the artist's adult alternativecontemporary singing songwriting style.

Interestingly Maggie Reilly's albums are rarely domesticallyreleased either in the Americas or United Kingdom. Originally from Scotland,she sings in English and her music, like Miriam Stockley's, has broadappeal but the German community seems to have recognised her talent morethan other territories. This latest release features twelve mostly easyrocking tracks featuring soaring vocals with additional layers contributingto the textures achieved. A bevy of guest artists are listed as contributing to the recordings. They include: Nico Ramsden (guitars), Fergus Durrant(percussion) Danny Schogger (keyboards), Charlie Dore (additional backingvocals), Grant Mitchell (bass and drum programming), Chris Rea (slide guitar),Churcho Merchan (guitars, bass, backing vocals), Stuart Mackillop (keyboards),Blair Mackichan (addional backing vocals), Guy Pratt (bass), Miles Bould (drums),and Adam Drake (guitars).

Clearly the most catchy track of the album is "When It's Over"with its obvious single potential. Lush instrumentals perfectly complimentMaggie's stunning lead and additional layers of backing vocals. The ballad"Always You" is, by stark contrast, a lovely ballad, lightly instrumentedwith simply stunning vocals; tribal sounding layers in the chorus are mostreminscent of Miriam Stockley's style. "I Think It's Gonna Rain" is sung totally a capella and is a testament to the artist's virtuousity and vocal maturity.

Light rocking tracks dominate the balance of the album's setlist. "Always You" blends lovely lead vocals with lush arrangements andadditional vocal layers while electronics dominate arrangements in "Now"to give it a dance flavour. "Replay" is an evocative, rock-style balladwith bluesy verses contrasted by choruses having a highly accessible pop flavour. We quite enjoyed "Talking To Myself" and "Changes" with their contrasting textures spanning dance electronica, light rock and ballad styles and soaring lead vocals balanced with layers of backing harmonies. The album concludes with the upbeat track "Memories" which, like manyof those that precede it balancing lovely lead vocals with backinglayers of harmony vocals and lovely arrangements; percussion is mostnotable in the closing track.

The compact disc is accompanied by a lovely booklet with full size and thumbnail photos of the arist. Lyrics for the track "Adelena" are included but the others have been omitted. You can read further reviews and order Maggie Reilly's Starcrossed album from amazon.com at a reasonable price here. Certainly worth a transatlantic journey, this wonderful Maggie Reillyalbum, just like those that precede it, is a must listen!

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