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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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La Luna
Image © 2000\r\n\r\nAngel Records

USA Track Title EEC
01 La Lune -
02 Winter in July -
03 Scarborough Fair 02
04 Figlio Perduto 03
05 A Whiter Shade Of Pale -
06 He Doesn't See Me -
07 Serenade 06
08 How Fair This Place 07
09 Hijo de la Luna 08
10 Here With Me 05
11 La Califfa 04
12 This Love 01
13 Solo Con Te 10
14 Gloomy Sunday 11
15 La Luna 12
- She Doesn't See Him 09
- First Of May (Live) 13

(20 August 2000) The latest album by Sarah Brightman entitledLa Luna (Angel Records (USA) 7243 5 56968 2 3, 2000) releasedin the United States on 29 August, continues much in the vein of thestar's prior albums Eden and Time To Say Goodbye(Timeless in Europe and other territories). A classicalcrossover album in every respect, La Luna, with itsmoon themes, has something for every one of Sarah's fans. Cover versions of folk and pop songs perfectly compliment her modern interpretations of the more classical Aria-oriented tracks.Once again produced by Frank Peterson, the album clearly blends sounds from the Dive and Fly era with the artist'smost recent releases. Sarah Brightman has long led the way in the classical crossover genre and has been joined byEmma Shapplin (review),Aria (review),Izzy (review) and Filippa Giordano (review).

The Angel Records version of La Luna differs slightly from the German pressing both in running order and tracks includedto best address the American audience. Most notable is the differing lyrical viewpoints between the complimentary ballads "He Doesn't See Me" (USA) and "She Doesn't See Him" (EEC). This stunning track blends contemporary sound with Celtic orchestration. The four additional tracks on the American version make it more accessible, emphasising the contemporary side of the classical crossover genre.Musical Discoveries readers that have long requested areview of Sarah Brightman's work should appreciate this (pre-release) album review.

The album's classically derived tracks are performed graciouslywith operatic vocals soaring well above the orchestral instrumentation. Examples include "La Califfa" (Lady Caliph), Beethoven's "Figlio Perduto" (Lost Son), Handel's "Solo Con Te" (Only With You), andRachmaninov's "How Fair This Place"/"How Fare This Spot" sung in Russian; it is joined to a Frank Peterson instrumental introduction entitled "Serenade" which includes Sarah's lovely soaring vocalise.

The most accessible tracks on the album include Brightman-styleanthem "Here With Me" and uptempo rocking tune "Winter In July". The inclusion of Sarah's stunning cover of Gary Brooker's "A Whiter Shade Of Pale" this time with rich orchestral arrangements perfectly compliments "A Salty Dog" on Dive. Sarah's cover of "Scarborough Fair" is sensitively sung over light instrumental arrangements. The song was recently covered by Gypsy Soul as well (review).Sarah's singing in the lovely uptempo classically derived piece entitled "Hijo de la Luna" (Son of the Moon) is most reminscentof Kate Bush's style.

Slow ballads ("La Lune," "He Doesn't See Me" and "This Love") are sung tenderly and evocatively, backed with a well-produced blend of traditional and modern arrangements. The bluesy jazz smoky piano bar undertones of "Gloomy Sunday" add to the unique sound of the album.The American version of the album closes with the title track, anFrank Peterson adaptation of a Dvorak classic that blends classicalconstruction with Brightman's operatic soaring vocals and slightlycontemporary arrangements. A hidden track within "La Luna" includesa unique Brightman acoustic interpretation of "Moon River." Interestedlisteners will have to wait until about 5:15 on the counter for itto begin.

The booklet accompanying the compact disc of both EEC and USAversions is as stunning as the music. Produced on high gloss paperand loaded with stunning photos by Simon Fowler (all available on Sarah's website), it containslyrics both in the language sung and their translations. You canorder the American version of La Luna from amazon.comhere as well as the import versionhere. Sarah Brightman's earlier albums are also available at amazon.com.Diverse in its content, well-produced in all regards with stunning vocals certain to delight our readers, La Luna is wortha trans-Atlantic journey and is a must listen!

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