Vivienne Neville & Liz Clarke - Emmanuel

Published Saturday 7th January 2012
Vivienne Neville & Liz Clarke - Emmanuel
Vivienne Neville & Liz Clarke - Emmanuel

STYLE: Celtic
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 120299-18749
LABEL: Plankton PCDN166
RELEASE DATE: 2011-10-31
RRP: £10.00

Reviewed by Stella Redburn

Even though vocally Vivienne's and Liz's voices are tonally very different, the way in which the two singers intuitively blend together makes this collaboration on 10 Christmas songs works very well. Each has penned an original song for the album and they each sing four traditional Christmas songs as well. Vivienne's original is "Angels". Beautifully simple lyrics and a complex, multi-layered production sound make for an atmospheric start to the album with her child-like Celtic tones, rather like Enya, giving the song an other worldly aura. Vivienne says that she wants her music to convey soothing peace, stillness and prayer and this track certainly does that. Liz's original contribution is "I Think About Jesus" and this lovely hymn-like song showcases her beautiful, controlled voice. For me, highlights of the album are Liz's "We Three Kings", a spacious, airy arrangement full of free rhythms and jazz chords that make a refreshing change for this old chestnut, and Vivienne's "O Come O Come Emmanuel", which has pretty keyboards and the breathy, spaced-out quality to the voice, reinforced by extra bars turning the usually robust carol into a meditation. The two ladies sing together on a couple of tracks, the Southern gospel classic "Mary Did You Know" and "O Holy Night" with Gavin Richards (ex-Yfriday) adding some harmonies. The album finishes up with "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" sung by Liz and arranged with a nice catchy little instrumental riff. One of the most refreshing Christmas releases of last year.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Reader Comments

Posted by Martin Hoyle in Wainstalls, Halifax @ 23:58 on Jan 10 2012

A very nice, Peaceful Album.
Viv did a concert at our Farm, & played a few tracks.
We played it at Christmas, & on boxing day. Just what u need to unwined.

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