Christina Muir,
Feet First
(Gaining Ground, 1996)

Feet First is a delightful CD from Christina Muir. At times the songs are quirky and light, other times the songs are deep and moving. In any event the songs are always good and they pull you along with a gentle tide. There is a warmth to these songs, a gentleness that is a joy to hear.

Since the music is good and the musicians are few, we shall quickly name them and then get into the songs. They are Gideon Freudmann (cello), Rick Schmidt (violin and viola), Scott Petito (fretlass bass) and Eric Garrison (electric guitar, percussion and synthesizer). Muir plays the acoustic guitar and mountain dulcimer in addition to singing the songs. She has a sweet, clear low voice that is delightful.

The CD starts off with "Who Will Hold Me," which is one of those songs that works even if you aren't sure why it does. It flows and feels right, even if part of the music sounds like it belongs in a merry-go-round. This is followed by the old-time jazz feel of "Begin with the End."

"Strawberries" is a simple song that tells of trip to a store -- and yet, there is a hint of another story just out of sight in the lyrics. "Feline Felony" is a creative love song that plays with metaphors as it gets around to declaring love. We then travel back in time with "As One," another love song with a feeling of antiquity.

Then "Gideon's Dream" comes in, drifting from the mist and the dawn. If it were a dream it would bring healing; as a song without words, it brings comfort and warmth. From there we go to "Moonchild," a song about someone who is far from home.

"Beyond All Time" is a rememberance of a love who passed away. The slightly upbeat tempo keeps a hope in the lyrics and a joy-filled longing in the music. "Holding Pattern" uses the image of an airplane circling before it lands to look at how we avoid questions.

"Gathering the Night" is another wordless song. The music creates the feel of night rolling in, a night of warmth and safety. Somehow the music tells you that it is a night where nothing can go wrong.

There is one more love song, and "If You Were a Mountain" approaches love from a different angle. And lastly, we come to "The Cat's Meow," which is a delightful romp. If the cat chased by Pepe le Peu ever sang, she might sing something like this song.

Jump into Muir's music Feet First -- it is well worth the plunge.

[ by Paul de Bruijn ]



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