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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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House Of Echoes CD Cover
Image © 1998 \r\nMoon-Rose Records  

(20 February 2000) The debut album from singer songwriter Kristin Banks, entitled House Of Echoes (Moon-Rose Records (USA) KB101-D, 1998) is a collection of twelve highly accessibleand well produced songs. The Connecticut native began her training at Hartt School of Music at the age of 13. Later she studied Musical Theatre at Syracuse University and moved to Southern California. Kristin sang for the country dance band Ramblin' Rose and was nominatedfor "Best New Female Vocalist" by the California Country Music Association in 1996 before launching her solo career. Now based in San DiegoKristin specialises in soft rock and pop love songs with excellentdramatic and theatrical delivery.

Supported by guitars, keyboards, bass and percussion, Kristin'sdebut album is first and foremost a vocal-oriented album. Additionalbacking vocals are by Kristin, Patty Klien, Sara Weivoda and Sharon Bishop. Ten of the tracks are written by Kristin herself while theremaining two are co-written with Rick "Raven" P., who also playsguitar and verious keyboards on the album. Instrumental productionis top notch and faithfully permit Kristin's theatricallysoaring vocals to dominate the album.

The album opens with a very catchy and somewhat country-style ballad entitled "Tossin' Anchors"—Kristin's voice will capture theattention of the listner, regardless of their typical musical preference. Evocative and theatrical, the title track is a slowballad with lush instrumentation carried by a piano melody andstunning vocals. The album's soft rock numbers have richerproduction, more backing vocals and modern vocal effects thatadd lustre to the sound of Kristin's voice. "A Better World,"the exquisite "City Of Angels" and "One Small Candle," with itslovely guitar part. The style is further echoed and combined witha slight country edge in "These Dreams Of Mine."

"Jewel In Your Crown" and "Danglin' From Your Chain" are sensitively sung ballads sung performed with light instrumentation and only a touch of backing vocals. The lovely soft rock ballads "Another Woman's Dream" and "Midnight Lady" are certainly most illustrative of the extensive the range, emotional depth and sheer power of Kristin's voice. The most accessible track on the album, co-written with Rick "Raven" P., is "Make You Mine," is a testament to their songwriting, instrumental production and Kristin's soaring vocal ability—and one with single and airplay potential. Dramatic and theatrically sungwith lush instrumentation,"Rest In Peace" concludes the album, again illustrating Kristin'svocal power, emotional energy and tremendous range.

An album certain to please female vocalist enthusiasts, House Of Echoes is stunning and captivated us from first listen. Kristin's striking visual similarity to the UK's Patsy Palmer (East Enders) and the Sarah ("Fergie") Ferguson (Dutchess Of York) in some photos doesn't hurt her either! An extensive array of soundbites can be heard at her mp3.com website. A digital audio music CD with nine of her debut album's tracks can also be obtained there. You can order Kristin's album House Of Echoes from amazon.com here. Certainly worthy of extensive exploration, this album is amust listen!

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