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Chroma
     

Chroma

by Laurel MacDonald
 
Sensational Toronto singer and guitarist Laurel MacDonald seems to possess the pipes of several vocalists: Buffy Saint-Marie, Joni Mitchell, Laurie Anderson, Lisa Gerrard, and a Balkan women's ensemble. She almost yodels on the multitrack overdubs of the hypnotic "Agnus Dei," while on "Lament of the Bird," MacDonald's voice seems as wispy as a lovelorn lass grasping

Overview

Sensational Toronto singer and guitarist Laurel MacDonald seems to possess the pipes of several vocalists: Buffy Saint-Marie, Joni Mitchell, Laurie Anderson, Lisa Gerrard, and a Balkan women's ensemble. She almost yodels on the multitrack overdubs of the hypnotic "Agnus Dei," while on "Lament of the Bird," MacDonald's voice seems as wispy as a lovelorn lass grasping for strands of hope. "Seek Ye the Lambs," a haunting lament about a sinking ship, also showcases the sound-design talents of producer Philip Strong, who creates a chilling portrayal of the ship's tragic demise. MacDonald seems to mine all the potent qualities of studio wizardry to help her deliver the most emotionally gripping experience possible. "A Wing and a Prayer," a mesmerizing song about the portents of crows, is so powerful it was tapped for five remixes on WINGSPAN. The innovative MacDonald's got everything going for her: extraordinary voice, dynamic arrangements, sophistication, world music perspective, and beauty -- all put together in a very hip package.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bob Gottlieb
This haunting blend of traditional Cape Breton music and modern technology is at once comforting and powerful. Laurel MacDonald's music is inextricably tied to the traditions of Cape Breton and its Scottish/Irish roots. No matter how heavily she relies on new technology, the strength of this connection always shines through. Those familiar with Mary Jane Lamond's Suas E! will have an inkling of what to expect here, as she was the co-producer of that disc along with Phil Strong, who happens to produce this record. Like Lamond's disc, Chroma is sung in a mix of Gaelic and English, to very good effect. MacDonald's voice is breathy and soft, floating with the music like a bird soars on the thermals. "Lament of the Birds" is a perfect showcase for her ethereal yet strong voice, which holds the listener transfixed by the visual images it projects. At other times her voice speaks with a simmering authority, as on "Trans-Chant." Part of McDonald's effectiveness is that she uses the music to support the mood that her voice is trying to convey. And it is that voice which makes Chroma such a thoroughly enjoyable listen.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/23/1999
Label:
Rca
UPC:
0090266327027
catalogNumber:
63270

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Laurel MacDonald   Primary Artist,Flute,Guitar,Electric Guitar,Bells,Slide Guitar,E-bow,Vox Organ
John Gzowski   Guitar
Patrick O'Gorman   Pipe,Human Whistle,uillean pipes
Rob Piltch   Guitar,Pedal Steel Guitar
Dave Woodhead   Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Drums,Bodhran
David Travers-Smith   Trumpet
Dave Smith   Trumpet
Mark Duggan   Moringa
Phil ?   Guitar,Percussion,Drums,Keyboards,Vocals,Bells,Slide Guitar,Shaker,Hand Drums,Prepared Piano
Paul Brennan   Percussion,Drums

Technical Credits

Jeff Elliott   Engineer
Paddy Moloney   Executive Producer
Phil Strong   Producer
David Travers-Smith   Engineer
Michael Wrycraft   Artwork,Art Direction
Laurel MacDonald   Arranger
Phil ?   Arranger,Engineer,Contributor
Philip Strong   Producer

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