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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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Cocooned CD Cover
Image © Sarah Fimm 2001

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A Perfect Dream

(17 April 2005) Sarah Fimm's album Cocooned) (Sarah Fimm (USA), 2001) is a strange, chimerical beast that evinces a prodigious musical ability and a unique voice. More disparate and possibly less approachable than 2004's Nexus (review), Cocooned, nontheless, still has great merit. A more hard-edged, piano-based work, Cocooned lacks much of the electronic moodiness evident on Nexus. Without question, however, the album showcases a legitimate blossoming talent.

Take the scottish instrumental "Bonny at Morn," which could have been written by Loreena McKennitt and contrast it with the prog/rock "After the Blue." The first sounds as if it were an ancient folk song complete with bagpipes and nimbus hazy synths. The second is a strong, teeth-baring ballad that holds no punches. Yet, surprisingly, the two tracks--which are next to each other in order on the album--sound perfectly situated on the album.

On tracks like "Valhalla" and "Bombay Cafe," Sarah Fimm effectively allows her lush and tender piano free rein, her voice at once accentuating and enhancing the music. One cannot help but be impressed an amused with songs like "Running from the Whole" which begins with gleeful and slightly maniacal pounding piano chords and then adds searing electric guitar that would make "Dio" proud! Without question, the acoustic "Sets us Apart" is a standout track. Very close to early Heather Nova, Sarah Fimm's imploring voice combined with sparse guitar picks and violin render a stunning result.

The unusual instrumental "Cocooned" is a real stunner. Lush violins fight and then converge in beautiful harmony. "At Dawn" foreshadows Sarah's later work on Nexus. The song opens with Sarah singing: Random little things keep taunting me / the rose left on my pillow after you leave / Favorites turn to monsters as the seasons turn around / I had no idea I could feel so upside down.

Strangely touching and revealing, Sarah Fimm proves she has no fear of laying her sentiments and passions on the table. In between her debut and 2004 project, Cocooned shows great merit and a sign of things to come.--Justin Elswick in Provo, Utah

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