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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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Flaming Star
Image © 2001 New World Music

Sally Oldfield Image © 2001 New World Music

(29 July 2001) The latest release from Sally Oldfield followsten 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 atMusicial Discoveries) Oldfield began her musical career in thelate 1970s after leaving Bristol University where she studiedEnglish literature and philosophy. She had planned to go onto do a PhD in these subjects but as a result of a powerfuland unexpected experience of spiritual revelation, suddenlyfound herself creating her own songs. She dropped all worldlypursuits to follow a path of spiritual discovery and toattempt to express the results of that in her music.

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

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

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

"Ascension" is most reminscent of the world sounds on the twoBeautiful World albums. It's rhythmic texture perfectly suits itsmelody while lovely vocal harmonies contribute to the overall soundand 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 stunningproject that will delight her long-term fans as well as those thatdiscover her with this project. You can find further information on Sally Oldfield at the New World Musicwebsite. Read furtherreviews, listen to soundbites and order the album from amazon.comhere. Certainly worth a trans-Atlantic journey, Flaming Staris a must listen!

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