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Robbins, Janet: Song of the Gypsy Tree

Janet Robbins is an American musician who has just come out with her fourth CD Song of the Gypsy Tree, her first in three years. I believe her first three albums were instrumental but on the new album she adds vocals which is not a bad thing as she has an enchanting voice, often reminding me of Kate Bush.

On these songs Robbins does everything; writing, composing and performing. Guest musicians Chris Armstrong and River Guerguerian do help her out on percussion.

This is one of the most mellow CDs I have heard in a long time as Robbins prefers to travel down a more ambient path. That is not to say her music is boring because that would be far from the truth. Robbins combines ambient textures with world, electronica and elements of jazz. On first listen you might not hear all of its nuances as there is much lurking just below the surface. This is one of those albums that you really need to concentrate on in order to get the full effect. A good set of headphones is mandatory.

In the moody "As in Winter" elements of world, ambient, electronica and jazz combine to make a minimalistic concoction that really works. The orchestration is quite subtle but is there nonetheless and her voice is quite versatile. With "November", the sounds slowly build across a nightmarish landscape that would not sound out of place on the set of a horror movie. Sparse piano and sampled voices add to the trippy vibe. "Song of the Gypsy Tree" is a percussion heavy track with subtle strings and lush orchestration that offers a more melancholy sound while "Egypt" features neat vocal parts at times reminding me of '70s era Heart.

The dream-like "Evermore" ends the album with a quiet exploration of ambient sounds and textures that wraps up the journey quite nicely.

Janet Robbins will not be everyone's cup of tea but if you dig music in the ambient spectrum of sounds Song of the Gypsy Tree will be worth a listen. Her use of ethereal textures and moods is a real treat for the ears for those prepared to listen.


Track Listing:
1. As in Winter (8:01)
2. November (5:53)
3. Sparks (7:27)
4. Song of the Gypsy Tree (4:44)
5. Egypt (8:21)
6. Slowly (5:04)
7. The Meaning (4:28)
8. Evermore (5:40)

Added: October 3rd 2011
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Score:
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 1735
Language: english

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