STYLE: Celtic RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 24901-10970 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Lins Honeyman
This is the debut solo release from New Zealand-based singer/songwriter Carolyn Stilwell who many will remember from her days as a member of the 1990s Celtic collective Loose Goose. The theme of her former band's genre is continued in this collection of self-penned and self-produced tracks which are very much in the vein of Clannad and Enya (most notably in "Dream Away" which bears more than a passing resemblance to the latter's smash hit "Orinoco Flow".) Stilwell treads the familiar path of presenting songs which feature wistful vocals and mystical lyrics amidst a backdrop of synthesised sound but, in truth, 'Land Of Clouds' is a bit of mixed bag. There are some great tracks like the enigmatic "Dreams Of Atlantis", the beautifully simple "There's A Whispering" and the opener "Bird Of Peace" which seems to allude to the Holy Spirit. On the other hand, it is somewhat hampered by weaker numbers - namely the awkward "Bo Peep" which would not seem out of place as a filler song in a children's TV programme and the whimsical "Daisychains" which is a below par song that does not suit Stilwell's vocal style. In addition, many of the tracks could do with better production to help the proceedings steer away from the over synthesised sound and the cheap keyboard syndrome that occasionally rears its ugly head. In fact, the Loose Goose favourite "Back To Avalon" stands out as being one of the most vibrant songs on the album mainly due to the fact that it contains acoustic instruments and a better mix of the natural and electronic would have benefited this release no end. Whilst a lot of this album misses the mark, there is still much that is enjoyable and Loose Goose fans will no doubt be eager to hear this solo effort.
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