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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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A Blonde Moment CD Cover
Image © Toll Records 2001

Image © Toll Records 1998

More Rachel & Common Ground
Head 2 Head and Fabulous (2002)

(04 October 2001) The latest recording by Cornwall-based Rachel & Common Ground is a six track EP entitled A Blonde Moment (Toll Records (UK) 008, 2001). It follows on the heels of the band's self-titled debut (Toll Records 007, 1999). With influences ranging from folk through progressive celtic, the band is fronted by the stunning crystalline vocal work of Rachel Heffer. Rachel also plays harp and is supported by Chris Lobb (bass), Richard Penrose (keyboards), Pip Harbon and Terry Wallwork. The band have performed at theClassic Rock Society several times and are one of several supportedby the organisation destined for significant success.

In contrast to the band's debut, A Blonde Moment featureslayers of backing harmony vocals and richer arrangements. MusicalDiscoveries' readers will be impressed with the attention paid to the vocals in the mix; clearly a female vocals album, Rachel's voiceis mixed way up. Material ranges from "Journey" a soft acousticballad to the highly accessible opening track "Given Life." Instrumentalsperfactly compliment Rachel's soaring voice in the upbeat yet bluesy "Megan O'Reilly." Similarly complimented by a lovely arrangement and sensitive harp part, "Mice and Men" is a sweetly sung upbeat light rock track.

As with "Given Life," the rocking "Step on Board" is lushly arranged with electronic effects supporting Rachel's soaring leadvocals. The acoustic guitar passages are as notable as the stunning vocals; a small spoken word—almost rap—passage breaksup the two main passages of the song. The EP concludes with thePan Celtic winning folk entry, "Ow Mos Tre" (acousticversion). Lush arrangements back layers of Rachel's sweetlysung Gaelic vocal passages. Certainly worth a long distancejourney, this latest EP from Rachel & Common Ground is a must listen!

The self-titled debut recording from Rachel & Common Ground iscomprised of four well arranged vocal numbers. "Common Ground"is a lovely acoustic ballad dominated by Rachel's sweetly sunglead vocal. A lovely harp part is part of the supporting arrangement. The EP concludes with a Gaelic version of the opening track entitled "Tir Kemmyn." Sandwiched between theversions are "Spirit," a soft acoustic ballad featuring lovelystring parts, and "Take Me Home"—the original and more simply arranged English version of the band's Pan Celtic award winner "Ow Mos Tre." Dominated by Rachel's crystallinevocals the band's self-titled debut is a must listen!

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