(30 December 2001) We were quite pleased to see an album with Juliana's name on it after hearing her vocal work with new age recording artist Llewellyn (Moonlore review).Her debut is entitled Woman Wisdom (New World Music (UK) NWCD 516); arranged by Llewellyn, it features eight all-new tracks and a cover of Enya's "Marble Halls."Juliana has performed on albums by Llewellyn, Terry Oldfield's Across the Universe (review)and the best selling album Comet by Medwyn Goodall.
Woman Wisdom is a new age album with layer upon layer of lush vocals that will appeal to those that adore Enya, Máire Brennan and similar artists. It features personal songs about spirit guides, guardian angels, healing crystals, animals, self-belief, and includes favourite myths and legends about the Celts and Mermaids. The opening track "Runs With The Wind," has a Celtic edge to it but is sung in English. We especially enjoyed Juliana's native American flute passage within it.
Lush keyboard-generated orchestral arrangements perfectly compliment Juliana's sweet lead vocal and backing harmonies. The upbeat sax-accompanied "Arianna" is instrumentally reminiscent of Kenny G, but the sweet vocals that soar above the instrumentals are uniquely Juliana. Her vocal treatment of "Marble Halls" is lovely; the lead vocal is mixed way up with lyrics easy to understand while the backing harmonies add a lovely texture to the instrumentals in the choruses.
The crushing and epic length ballad "Sacred Lake" features Juliana's evocatively soaring solo and gentle backing vocals exploring the full extent of her vocal range and a very delicate orchestral arrangement. "Mermaids," another epic-length number; here Juliana's vocals join Llewellyn and dominate the soothing arrangement which has been completed with a lovely guitar part and oceanic sound effects. "Woman Wisdom" and "Lapis Heart" both have a definite Enya feel with light arrangements supporting highly memorable melodies and lush backing vocal layers.
The atmospheric new age-style ballad "Guardian Angel" is sung softly and evocatively with the lovely melody echoed by piano and supported by gentle backing harmonies. Juliana's album concludes with the standout track "Wonders Of Life," a number with lush vocals and instrumentals and a memorable melody certain to appeal to Enya fans. Well produced arrangements perfectly compliment Juliana's sweetly sung vocal layers.
Although the album has a relative short running time, we were impressed with the overall production quality of the project and remain keen to hear further recordings by Juliana. You can find further details on the album, listen to soundbites and order it from amazon.comhere. Currently available at an attractive price, this stunning new album by this emerging new age vocalist is a must listen!