is a talented artist hailing from Ireland. While she is known among certain circles for her work with Anethema
she has managed to do well on her own with her solo work as well. She has released two studio albums and has done a number of live performances around
different parts of Europe. We present here a review of her sophomore albuum Paramour
Paramour - Review
While this is our first introduction to this talented artist, this sophomore album is a great body of work. With this album we're able to get a great taste of Lisa's
spellbinding, ethereal vocals soaring over a mix of progressive rock, a touch of jazz and plenty of beautiful, captivating piano compositions.
The album is composed of ten dynamic tracks, ranging in power, intensity and emotion
as each one portrays a certain story or mood to accentuate and pull together the overall thematic approach to this album. All of this creates a great album
that fans of various styles of ethereal and neo-classical music can enjoy.
This album does well as a concept album because it really seems to flow from start to finish, each track blending well and lending something of interest to
the overall work. As Lisa tells the stories and sad tales of those affected by the Magdalene Laundries in Ireland, the emotion pours out through the
haunting piano and vocals from piece to piece. It all starts out with "Destitute" which starts off slow and haunting as she begins to weave the first of
several stories on this album, then seemingly rising triumphant with an outburst of energy, the fast-paced rhythm kicks in with drums, violin, guitar and other
layered instruments and electronics for a moving rock track. The pace slows and fades across "Coils of Blue" and the devastatingly, beautiful "Gartan Mother's
Lullaby" before picking up with "Run and Jump" and other up-beat tracks like the angst-ridden "The Sooner You Know" and wrapping up with "Party's Over". There
are definitely a lot of gems in the middle there and the ten-minute-long piece "The Balancing Act" really showcases the artist's endurance and tests the
listener's commitment as well.
All of these pieces form the tapestry, delicately woven to tell the stories of the characters behind this thematic album. Several pieces stand well on their own
and as ethereal pieces stand out as favorite for me. Several of these formerly mentioned above with the dreamy soundscapes are excellent pieces, including the
way "Destitute" kicks off the album. The haunting beauty of the first few minutes are spellbinding and a perfect introduction, and the way the rest of the
song takes off with the rock beat really caught me by surprise, yet it all works somehow with Lisa's vocals piercing the air, forcing the feelings of the music
more than the words into the listener's heart and soul. "Coils of Blue" follows next with the haunting piano and cello really taking center stage and creating
a perfect back-drop to the captivating vocals. Lisa Gerard
and Sarah McLachlan
fans should love this piece as it is beautifully done as a mostly
a capella piece, show-casing the raw beauty and talent of Lisa's vocals. As the piano slowly builds into the piece, a haunting quality is added for a darker,
yet dreamy quality to the piece which builds and then fades as the track moves along. As the album moves along, the mood seems to grow darker and more desparate
with the compositions becoming more experimental and intense, finally leading up to the final piece "Party's Over".
Overall this is a great album for fans of the darker ethereal music. It definitely has some intense moments with some experimental compositions and some very
long tracks, most averaging well over five minutes with the longest clocking in at over ten. I'm sure it was a challenge to create everything for this concept
album from the lyrics to form the stories to the compositions to portray the moods, thoughts and feelings of the characters portrayed. I think it's well done
and will be a nice addition to our collection.