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Casale, Laura: Now is Where You Are

Now is Where You Are is the long awaited debut album from singer, songwriter, keyboard player Laura Casale, over a decade in the making and finally arriving, self-produced & released, with gorgeous artwork adorning the CD courtesy of the always reliable Ed Unitsky. Joining Casale here is her son Daniel Reeves (Bass), Paul Brannon (Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin, Bass), Frank Basile (Drums), Van Hunsberger (Drums, Percussion), and Jørgen Stougaard (Guitar, Slide Guitar). Now is Where You Are features 13 tracks of lush progressive rock, melodic rock, pop, and a touch of ambient. It's all very atmospheric & uplifting, many of the songs quite catchy and filled with melodic hooks that stay with you long after the CD has come to an end.

It's easy to get excited over a song like "Rescue", an upbeat prog rocker complete with soaring vocals, instantly addicting melodies, and daring instrumentation that recalls Yes, featuring some tasty Steve Howe inspired lead guitar work courtesy of Brannon. He again adds some splendid lead work to the symphonic gem "Big Sky", a song also punctuated by Casale's gorgeous vocals and plenty of majestic keyboard tapestries. I think if Yes had included a few songs such as these on their most recent CD Heaven and Earth the reception would have been much more positive. The poetic "Full Moon" and the atmospheric "Reflections" show a softer, more tender side to Casale, both tracks featuring lush soundscapes and dreamy vocals, with intriguing lyrics that are spiritual yet come from the heart. "Smilin' " is a quirky, fun tune, with a charming lyric to go along with bouncy prog/pop arrangements, while the soaring "Broken Wing" just warms your heart & soul with its enchanting vocals, majestic piano, and overall soothing textures. The title track hints at influences such as Yes, Heart, Gentle Giant, Renaissance, and ELP, as engaging keyboard & guitar passages intertwine with passionate vocals and intricate rhythms. Casale's ability to create wonderful keyboard orchestrations with rich colors & tones can be heard on "The Voyage", and the near 11-minute "Metamorphosis" features grandiose piano passages and lovely vocal melodies, as this song about 'new life' just sweeps you off your feet, reminding of some of the classic material of the great band Renaissance.

This is just a wonderful little album, and it's instantly apparent that a ton of love went into the creation of it. From the lyrics, to the musicianship, the production, and the enchanting artwork, Now is Where You Are is a positive, emotional, and powerful collection of songs that captures your senses and lifts your soul. Melodic prog fans would be well advised to seek this one out.

See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!

Track Listing
1. New Millennium
2. Rescue
3. Reflections
4. Big Sky
5. Full Moon
6. Love
7. Smilin
8. Broken Wing
9. Now Is Where You Are
10. The Real You
11. The Voyage
12. Metamorphosis
13. Peace Be Still

Added: October 4th 2014
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Artist Facebook Page
Hits: 2247
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Casale, Laura: Now is Where You Are
Posted by Mark Johnson, SoT Staff Writer on 2014-10-20 11:37:13
My Score:

How often have you heard music delivered from a very personal perspective? Not often enough right? Most artists write about things they encounter outside of the everyday. Well, Laura's experience is documented well in this life's work debut album. This is something Laura has been working on creatively to release for years. You can feel and hear the personal care placed in each note and lyric throughout "Now is Where You Are".

I met Laura on Facebook and her music immediately hooked me. She sent me a download copy of her version of one of my favorite Yes songs, "Soon" and I was beyond hooked. Laura has definitely been influenced by Yes, you can hear it all over her piano playing. (She is a piano teacher in her day job). But there are other influences as well. I hear some Kate Bush in "Big Sky", Genesis in "The Voyage", and some ELP, in some of her other piano – oriented tracks.

However, none of this music is copied or cover music. It is influenced by the music Laura and all of us listened to over the years. The lyrics are authentic and come from the heart.

If you are in search of something completely different with a personal story to tell, this is the album for you. It is already one of my favorite albums of the year.

» Reader Comments:

Casale, Laura: Now is Where You Are
Posted by Rick McDonald on 2014-10-05 09:29:29
My Score:

I recently purchase LAURA CASALE's prog rock NEW RELEASE "Now Is Where You Are" and am I glad I did! This conceptual album will transport you on an uplifting spiritual journey and back again. The opening empowering track "New Millennium" gets the journey off to a powerful start and continues through to the final song "Peace Be Still" which envelops you in spiritual bliss. The album's success is attributed to Laura Casale's keyboard wizardry which carries her beautiful lyrics and delivers them to the listener via her melodic and sometimes edgy vocals. A stand out is the title track "Now Is Where You Are" which is brilliantly structured to succeed in an arena venue. Although many of the songs like "Big Sky" and "The Real You" cover serious topics, Laura also shines brightly on the romantic ballad "Love" & the fun and jazzy tune "Smilin". The album's song mix of prog rocker's, symphonic sounds and the solo piano tunes is very reminiscent of Keith Emerson & Greg Lake's combined work with the timeless band ELP.

The album in it's entirety tells a story of life's trial & tribulations and more importantly it's celebration of triumph and love. Each song is like a chapter in the book of life which any listener can relate to. This is a must have for any serious lover of prog rock. Do yourself a favor and order your copy of Laura Casale's "Now Is Where You Are" today at "". You will be glad you did!!!!!!

Casale, Laura: Now is Where You Are
Posted by Jon C. Munson II on 2014-10-04 19:30:05
My Score:

I own a copy of this album. This is an absolutely wonderful album that brings back musicality coupled with lyrics that make sense. No bubblegum pop or rock candy here!

I absolutely love it and listen to it in the car and practically anywhere else too.

If you are interested in obtaining your own copy, you can order it here: Laura's Store

Casale, Laura: Now is Where You Are
Posted by Rob Price on 2014-10-04 14:26:06
My Score:

As a project, "Now Is Where You Are" is a thorough triumph of heart and artistry over pain and adversity. Every track conveys a spirit of unflagging positivity, even as the harsh realities of this life are acknowledged and explored. Throughout the generous 75 minutes of composition that touches at least a dozen genres (including art rock, ambient soundscapes, pop and even blues), Casale achieves an organic fusion of music and lyrics that few artists achieve. This album - while immediately familiar - continues to reward repeat listenings with new discoveries and moments of musical and spiritual exhiliration. Highly recommended.

Rob Price
Supernal Endgame

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