home   site updates   review digest   reviews   featured artists   links   about us  
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.

Digest Index
Current Digest
Instrumental Digest
Center Of My Universe CD Cover
Image © 2000\r\n\r\nSparrow Records  

(05 March 2000) The second album from Australian singersongwriter and beautyMichelle Tumes is entitled Center Of My Universe (Sparrow Records (USA) SPD 1696, 2000) comeson the heels of her highly successful Listen(Sparrow Records (USA) SPD 1546, 1998). Centered on her characteristically ethereal vocals and produced by David Leonard and Michelle Tumes, the album's ten tracksare highly accessible alternative rock-oriented numbers with primarily secular lyrical themes; it is in the HDCD format and is accompanied by an high quality liner noteswith complete lyrics, credits and lovely colour photography. Sparrow Records has produced another stunning website to accompany the album while another [independent or fan-based] website containsvideo clips, additional soundbites and amateur photographs. Michelle's late autumn tour met with widespread acclaim.

A classically trained pianist, Michelle gave up heridea of a music career for a time and studied dentistryuntil her little sister gave her some money from a paper routeto make a demo of her songs. With that vote of confidence andsome interestr from publishing companies, Michelle set out to pursue a career in the United States. After landing cuts byartists like Jaci Velasquez and Sixpence None The Richer,Michelle signed a record deal and released her debut album.She received an ipressive nod from her peers with a DoveAward Nominaton in 1999 for New Artist of the Year.

The lush orchestral arrangements on Michelle Tumes' albums perfectly compliment her ethereal lead and multi-tracked backingvocals and create a highly accessible sound designed to appealto the broadest audience. Center Of My Universe openswith "Deep Love" an upbeat Enya-esque tune. "Heaven's Heart"is a soft rocking tune with more pronounced guitar and percussion but equally effective orchestral arrangements.Michelle's sweeet lead vocals are mixed higher and the layersof backing vocal add wonderful texture. The ballads "Lovely"and "Immortal" are equally lush each with their own rich instrumentals, stunning vocal lead and layers of backing vocals but slower pace.

"Do Ya is quite different, and I'm sure people will be shocked by it," admits Michelle. It's very upbeat and pop-oriented. "I wanted people to see there is a different side to me, that I don't always float around and write serenemusic. That song addresses the fact that looks really don'tmatter—it's what's on the inside. Everyone's unique, andthat's a fantastic thing." It would be perfect song for playwithin WB's Popular television.

Michelle's sensual lead vocal in "Missing You" is mixed way up in spots with little instrumentation however the choruses have lots of backing layers that add to the acoustic textures. More spoken than typical for Michelle, the lead vocal in "WithThe Angels" is equally exquisite, evocative and sensual; the layers in the choruses are very accessible—listen for the short whispery hook. A first for Michelle, "Chant" is an immediate linkback to more spiritual days. Inspired by a visit to an Othodox church, Michelle reflects, "The music they used in that churchwas so sacred, and this chant was written with that in mind. Ithelps me to be still, and silent, and in that place I becomevery peaceful." The strings supporting otherwise a capella choral work are very effective.

A gothic texture is captured with robust and uplifting orchestral arrangements and percussion in the highly accessible and moving vocal number "Christe Eleison," a certain favourite from the album. The closing track, "I Wish For Peace," is a short and soft ballad sung sensitively mainly with piano accompaniment.

You can order Michelle Tumes' latest album Center Of My Universe via amazon.comhere or her debut album Listenhere. Clearly Michelle Tumes is continuing to stretch her talent beyondconventional musical boundaries with this new album. Perfect productionand top quality recording compliments the song writing and artists' performances. Worthy of a cross country journey, this new album is a stunning achievement and certain to please female vocal enthusiasts. Like her debut album of the same name, it is a must Listen!

last updated on: