Lisa Lynne,
Seasons of the Soul
(Windham Hill, 1999)

In Seasons of the Soul, Lisa Lynne's second CD with Windham Hill, she again cultivates the Celtic spirit and harvests it through enchanting melodies that hum from the strings of her Celtic harp. Far from recordings that attempt to "capitalize" on the Celtic music craze and yet fall short of expectations, Lynne's two contributions (the previous Daughter of the Celtic Moon and Seasons of the Soul) embody the essence of the Celtic soul.

Each selection in Seasons bears Lynne's own mystical imprint, as well as the fruit of enhancement with stimulating combinations of bamboo flute, bouzouki, pan pipes, recorder, violin, nylon-strung guitar, cello, percussion, wine glasses, dulcimer, hammer dulcimer, double bass, acoustic guitar, drums, chamberlain strings, buffalo drum loops, mellotron, bandora, electric bass, voice and chamberlain choir.

Upon first listening, this recording is not as impressive as her first CD -- but for me, Seasons of the Soul eventually became the more played of Lynne's musical offerings. Without the lively dance rhythms featured in Daughters, this CD bares a more reflective soul, both in spirit and tone. As such, it inspires peaceful thoughts, the ability to calm one's self, and as well, a pleasant setting for creative thinking and work.

"Welcome," the first track on the CD, appropriately sets the mood for the entire session with the pleasing sounds of Lynne on Celtic harp, mandolin and wire strung harp. On its tail comes "The Fair Wind," which shimmers softly with a bamboo flute accompaniment. "Isla del Luna," featuring the violin, and "Firebird," featuring the bouzouki, are two of the more upbeat songs on the CD. "Bandora's Box" fills the air with the sounds of a waltzing music box, while "White Ship of Hope" sails with glimmers of notes plucked from the strings of a mandolin in harmony with the Celtic harp. "Majestica" easily conjures the image of the wind blowing over a medieval kingdom and provides a quiet respite in which one's imagination can run. The most haunting of the selections on this CD, "Morning Dove" and its follower "The Light and the Longing," seem to sing sorrowfully of sadness and loss and things that were. However, the listeners is left with more joyful thoughts in the reminiscent, yet more hopeful tune, "Faire thee Well."

All of these meaty (each comes in at around 4 1/2 to 7 minutes) and mind-enticing songs are written by Lynne, with the exception of tracks seven and eight, which are written by her and George Tortorelli.

This time, Lisa Lynne appears quieter in her ways. Yet Seasons of the Soul sings loud enough to leave its mark on your soul. It is yet another essential addition to your Celtic music library.

[ by Lynne Remick ]

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