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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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Kristy Thirsk
Image © Barry Gnyp 2002

More Kristy Thirsk
Interview and Photos
Dead and Gone to Heaven
Happily Ever After
Semantic Spaces

The Music of Kristy Thirsk

Best known for her work with Juno Award-winning Rose Chronicles and Delerium, this special edition of our digest reviews material featuring the vocal work of soprano singer songwriter Kristy Thirsk. In addition to exclusive photographs embodied in our in-depth interview with the artist, we review her recordings with Rose Chronicles, Delerium and various other projects.

Kristy began to draw widespread acclaim as the lead singer in Rose Chronicles. She worked with Delerium not long after as a featured vocalist on the Semantic Spaces and Karma albums. Kristy embarked on a solo career as Rose Chronicles disbanded and treated audiences to a limited edition recording entitled Bootlegs. As a guest vocalist, she co-wrote and contributed a track to the Balligomingo album Beneath The Surface and wrote and performed another in the soundtrack of the motion picture Kissed.

(06 July 2002) The Dead and Gone to Heaven (Nettwerk Productions (Canada) W2-6318, 1993) EP is the debut recording of Rose Chronicles--a collaboration of Kristy Thirsk (vocals, lyrics) and Richard Maranda (guitars). The band were signed to Canada's Nettwerk Records, home of Sarah McLachlan and Delerium, after playing only two live shows.

Thirsk says, "When we signed with Nettwerk, Richard and myself never went out shopping for labels. We were young and just surprised at how quickly things were happening. Anyhow, I just thought, wow, that's Sarah McLachlan's label!" In addition to Thirsk and Maranda, Judd Cochrane (bass) and Steve van der Woerd (drums) contribute to this recording and those that followed. Their first full length album Shiver was released in 1994 and was followed up by their last album Happily Ever After (review) in 1996.

The band members met through ads in a local Vancouver paper and were signed to the label after a friend who knew an A+R person at Nettwerk recommended that Rose Chronicles contact Nettwerk. Representatives of the label appeared at a show and were wowed by the band's performance. They were quickly offered the opportunity to record a demo with the label.

By 1993, Rose Chronicles were ready to release their debut 5-track EP entitled Dead and Gone to Heaven, which received wide critical acclaim. Shortly thereafter, the follow-up LP, Shiver, was recorded. Again, the release was embraced by the critics and public alike. After a period of touring, band members Judd Cochrane and Steve van der Woerd decided to part company with Rose Chronicles.Kristy and Richard remained a duo, yet the original Rose Chronicles lineup re-entered the studio to record their final album. Although the Rose Chronicles maintained a large fan base and received the Juno Award for best new group, Kristy and Richard ultimately decided to part ways as well.

Kristy went on to record with labelmates Delerium on both Semantic Spaces (review) and Karma (review) and morerecently with the electronica act, Balligomingo (feature). In addition, Kristy released several solo pieces and continued to perform live. Presently, Kristy is hard at work on her first solo album with producer Eric Rosse (Tori Amos). Fans can expect a release from Kristy in the forthcoming months. In fact, the amazing single "Runaway" has already received quite a bit of attention from the online community and foreshadows a great return for Kristy upon the release of her solo album.

The surreal and dreamy Dead and Gone to Heaven is a wonderful introduction to the RoseChronicles catalogue and Kristy's powerful and varied voice.

The first track "Awaiting Eternity," is a striking and vibrant song that captures elements of the Cocteau Twins, and Love Spirals Downwards (albeit with a bit harder edge). Vocally, Kirsty is in prime condition alternating between pure soprano and low-end hum. "Echo of Angels" is a rocking but melodic piece with an irresistible chorus that features slamming guitars and kicking percussion. "Hollow Sea" follows in similar vein, though with a slightly 80's vibe.

"Clouding Doubt" begins with waves of tribal percussion followed by washed metallic guitar strums and Kristy's pensive vocals. The closing track "Dead and Gone to Heaven" features a lengthy storm soundtrack and (of all things), and a digeridoo drone with no vocals providesan eclectic ending to a well-balanced and entertaining album.--Justin Elswick

Dead and Gone to Heaven and the band's second full length album Happily Ever After remain generally available while Shiver has been deleted.Read further reviews, listen to soundbites and order the product from amazon.comhere. Certainly a must listen!

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