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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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Urban Angel CD Cover
Image © Sonicjoy 2003  

(21 February 2004) Sonicjoy is an electronica dance band that has recently been announced as the British Columbia regional winner of the 2004 National Songwriting Competition in Canada for their song "New Again" offtheir debut album, Urban Angel. The group is noted for itssoaring vocals and trippy dance grooves.

The first track, "Never Never Land," combines electronic and acousticsounds to create a trance-like melody. Beautiful, rocketing vocalsby Joyelle Brandt capture the listener with her tonal clarity. "CriticalMass" claims the "energy is rising" and the description is spot-on.The percussion throughout is magnetic and just makes you want to dance. Co-writers Brandt and Sam Ryan as well as Mike Jevne bring great lyrics and and melodies to the forefront. Sonicjoy feature a wide range of instrumentation in their album including characteristic piano, guitar/acoustic guitar, synthesizers and traditional drums ranging to tabla to snake charmer to djembe.

"Transformation" continues with the hypnotic rhythm that has you swayingto the beat. "Furka" has almost a hindi sound with its whispering interjectionsand well-defined vocals. Mia Serra joins Brandt in the vocals for this song. African beats and thumping sounds bring about a sensuality in their music. Gentle acoustic guitar riffs in "Ong na mo" lead into an eeriness in "United." The song awakens to the continued distinctive Sonicjoy percussion. "New Again"is a refreshing and beguiling dance tune that your body cannot resist movingto.

The high energy continues throughout the album, ending with the sultryand soothing vocals and mesmerizing flute melody in a reprise of "Never Never Land." Sonicjoy has a unique style of electronic and rhythmic convergence that lends to the allure of their sound. It is no wonder they were chosen as songwriting winners, and Sonicjoy havea bright future ahead.--Audrey Elliot in New York

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