Loralyn Coles has a very feminine enfolding voice (yeah, I know, now I'm gonna get a spate of letters from aggro feminists accusing me of sexism) in gently delicate sonic fields drawn from folk traditions, New Age, and film musics (Northern Lights is a Civil War ballad that would go well in an anti-war flick). There's also a generous slice of Celtica, especially in Robert Spates' lyrical violin, Coles accompanying in a high sweet register; her drawn-out notes in, for instance, Golden Songs / The Water is Wide give the listener goosebumps.
Blue Moonlight is indeed a gentle record, a set of lullabyes lovingly rendered, the kind of music that heals as it brings a tear to the eye...and perfect to fall asleep to, laved in slowly undulating waves of lush semi-orchestral miniatures. Her take on 9/11 is interestingly neutral, not political to the least degree, only desirous of curing the trauma. Every once in a while, Coles is about a quarter tone off her intended pitch but otherwise has a Judy Collins-esque voice, a bit more melismatic than Suite Judy, a flow of soothing reassurance.
There are plenty of country fragrances floating through the songbook here (again, Spates is a hugely irreplaceable element in the atmospherics) but this is definitely lullabye-centered and Impressionistic (think Ravel and Debussy, maybe Faure, with spices of Gershwin blended in) via the crib, manger, and romantic tenderness. Goes a goodly ways to drag New Agery back into a proper art.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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