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Legend of the Free

Legend of the Free

  • Door Armitage Carrie
  • Release 12-10-2010
  • Muziekgenre International
  • Media-indeling CD
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Prijs: € 14,05

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Artist: Carrie Armitage Album: The Legend of the Free Review by Matt Warnock Rating: 4 Stars (out of 5) The term singer-songwriter often brings to mind a lone artist, sitting in the corner of a pub or café strumming open chords on their guitar as they sing laid-back songs to crowds of loyal listeners. Artists such as Joni Mitchell and Neil Young have come to define the genre with their copious releases over the years, but it's artists such as Carrie Armitage that are working overtime to redefine the genre and propel it into the 21st century. Armitage's 2010 release The Legend of the Free is an intelligently written and creatively arranged collection of tunes in the singer songwriter genre while destroying any preconceived notions of what a singer songwriter should be. Her use of ambient beats, a la This Mortal Coil but not as depressing, combined with extended vocal techniques and spoken word help lift this album above the fold and place it into a category all it's own. Songs such as "Beautiful Blue" showcase Armitage's wide vocal range as she uses her upper register to build climax after climax during the song's chorus and verse section, though using section labels such as chorus, verse and bridge might not be appropriate for this record. Armitage's music seemingly floats in the realm between formal song writing and the through composed. Her songs don't fit into the typical cookie cutter formulas of today's radio friendly pop tracks, but they aren't completely through composed either. Each tune features enough repetition for listeners to grab onto, while at the same time constantly introducing new sections and material throughout, a difficult task for any songwriter to accomplish. Besides possessing an incredible vocal range and tone, Armitage uses an interesting collection of syllables on songs such as "An Eye to the Sky" to gain the maximum emotional effect out of her performances. Mixing hard syllables, with her favorites beginning with the letter D, and open vocal sounds helps Armitage broaden her vocal effects beyond traditional words and phrases. Though her music shouldn't draw a direct comparison to a singer like Bjork, it is moments like this that at least raise a temporary connection between the Canadian songstress and the Icelandic composer. Each song on the album is carefully written and arranged in a manner that reflects Armitage's identity as an artist, without allowing songs to become strenuous on the listener's attention span. Moving between keyboards, acoustic piano, guitar, electronic drums and multiple layers of vocals, she is able to make each new track musically and lyrically distinct without losing the personal touch that enables each track to be identified as part of a larger whole. With all of the layering, electronic work and vocal dynamics soaking the album's twelve tracks, one of the most surprising and captivating songs is the acoustic piano-vocal duo "Looking Out on the World." Featuring a harmonic dynamic that weaves between major and minor, with Armitage's vocal line following as she sings over the major section and speaks over the minor, middle section, the song is a nice sidestep from the more heavily arranged songs on the album. There are even moments on the album, "Peace, Hope, Trust, Love" for example, where she reaches back and draws out a keyboard sound that conjures up memories of Pink Floyd's 1977 album Animals, showcasing the singers' wide range of influences. This lack of discrimination in it's use of form, influences or musical textures is one of the reasons why the album is so successful. Too often ambient records become monotonous after a few minutes, but this is not the case with The Legend of the Free. It weaves in and out of many different genres, styles and tonal characters while at the same time staying true to the composer's musical voice and intent. Review by Matt Warnock '...a stylistically consistent vision, a pop grandeur that veers into theatrical territory...' '....her message: to enlighten and enlist her listeners to promote love, compassion and eco/peace activism. She delivers her worthy message....' 'Armitage smoothly transverses musical genres. Her work combines elements of Ambient, Progressive Rock, Jazz, Classical and Pop.' Music Connection Magazine Los Angeles Artist: Carrie Armitage Album: The Legend of the Free Review by Alex Henderson Rating: 3 Stars (out of 5) Carrie Armitage is not a newcomer to the music world. Her first album, In Search of Simplicity, came out in 1996, and this Canadian singer/songwriter's 14 years of recording have demonstrated that she is hard to pigeonhole. Stylistically, Armitage's vocal-oriented recordings are comparable to Enya, Tori Amos, Lisa Gerrard (of Dead Can Dance fame), Beth Orton and Kate Bush. But Armitage, who plays piano and keyboards in addition to singing, producing and composing, has also recorded as an instrumentalist, offering ambient electronica exclusively on some of her previous albums. So where does Armitage's 2010 release, The Legend of the Free, fit in? This vocal-oriented outing is probably best described as adult alternative pop-rock with elements of ambient, new age, world music, classical, jazz and even R&B. Although The Legend of the Free is by no means an R&B or straight-ahead jazz album in the strict sense, some of Armitage's vocal phrasing does show some R&B and jazz influence, especially when she gets into wordless performances and hits the higher notes. Armitage has obviously absorbed some R&B and jazz along the way. In fact, her father was a jazz pianist/big band leader, and her mother was a jazz vocalist who sang in her father's band. So even though Armitage is stylistically closer to Enya, Bush, and Amos than Erykah Badu or Jill Scott, that exposure to jazz and R&B has added a touch of funkiness to her work. Being exposed to a wide variety of music along the way has clearly worked to Armitage's creative advantage, and one of the impressive things about The Legend of the Free is her ability to incorporate all of those different influences without ever sounding unfocused or confused. The Legend of the Free never fails in focus, and shows how much Armitage has grown and developed as an artist since In Search of Simplicity. Although In Search of Simplicity was generally likable and had it's moments, it was uneven. The Legend of the Free, in contrast, is a more consistent and confident-sounding album. Armitage has long favored an ethereal approach, and her knack for ethereal melodies and harmonies is quite appropriate given the new age imagery that is plentiful on lush offerings such as "Peace Hope Trust Love," "Looking Out on the World," "This Special Place" and "An Eye to the Sky." Most singer/songwriter albums stick to romantic themes, but on The Legend of the Free Armitage opts to sing about nature, ecology and the environment. Her environmental concerns make their presence felt on "A Warning Heeded: Lights in the Water," "Commonality" and "Progress." which asserts that technological or industrial "advancement" isn't really a step forward when it is harmful to the planet. One non-female artist who has been cited as an influence on Armitage is Peter Gabriel. He isn't as obvious or as prominent an influence as the previously mentioned ladies, but Gabriel's touch is present nonetheless, especially in the way Armitage incorporates elements of world music. Gabriel, too, like Armitage, has addressed environmental subjects, although Armitage's lyrics are much more overtly new age-minded. Looking at The Legend of the Free from strictly a commercial standpoint, as opposed to an artistic/creative standpoint, the album probably would have had more mainstream appeal if Armitage had included some romantic lyrics along with all the new age subject matter. But even if one isn't heavily into the new age ideology, The Legend of the Free is still enjoyable on a melodic level, a harmonic level and a rhythmic level. This solid effort demonstrates that Armitage is deserving of greater exposure. Review by Alex Henderson.

Details

Kunstenaar: Armitage Carrie
Titel: Legend of the Free
Genre: International
Releasedatum: 12-10-2010
Label: CD Baby
Media-indeling: CD
UPC: 654367023105
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