Blue Stone,
(Neurodisc, 2006)

You've heard this CD before. Not this particular one, but the combination of soft electronica and ethereal vocals, new age, with a Celtic bent in the mostly female singing. Fragments of chant, a la Enigma, make an appearance.

This is the well produced debut of Blue Stone, an electronic pop project of Robert Smith and Bill Walters, with five men and women singers added.

There are programmed beats, but they are generally subdued. A wide variety of hand percussion (djembe, shaker, finger cymbals, doumbek, cabasa, udu and talking drums, plus plastic garbage can lids) creates a tribal sound in some cuts. Everything else besides the vocals seems to be done by keyboards. The latter are a combination of new age piano and synthesizers.

An example of the lyrics is: "Everything I feel/Everything I see/Take my hand/Don't be afraid/Falling ... Falling...." There are not very many of them, which is probably just as well. But the lyrics seem present primarily as sound shapes, rather than for their intrinsic meaning.

"Soothing" might sum up this CD. It will be very appealing to fans of Celtic and world electronica.

by Dave Howell
1 July 2006

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