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Emily Bezar - Angel's Abacus

Emily Bezar - Angel's AbacusIf you have yet to hear Emily Bezar, wait no longer.  California based and classically trained vocalist Emily, gave up a budding career in opera and joined a San Francisco band before going solo in the early 90's.  1993 saw the release of her first album, Grandmother's Tea Leaves, followed by Moon In Grenadine in 1996, the highly acclaimed Four Walls Bending in 1999 and this, her fourth album, Angel's Abacus in 2004.

It takes a while for the music to soak in as Emily's angelic voice is the almost sole focus of attention for those who have not heard it before.  She must get sick and tired of hearing such comparisons but she shares a similar vocal sound to Kate Bush, though warmer, more operatic and with smoother edges. I'm fairly sure that Emily has a better range too.

Whilst Kate Bush had a foot over the line in the prog camp (she was 'discovered' by David Gilmour and influenced by Peter Gabriel), her music was/is generally regarded as pop, albeit better quality pop. Emily Bezar's music is less easy to categorise.  There are many interesting things going on, which has great appeal for the prog enthusiast yet is still accessible to the more casual listener.  However, none of the 16 tracks would appear to have the sort of commerciality that, if released as singles, would get anywhere near the top 40.

Fortunately not all of us are into the throw-away music of the pop world.  The drift between jazz, fusion, folk (in a sense) and prog could easily be used as a soundtrack to a movie and feel part of that movie rather than the growing trend for 'product placement' pop songs that litter a lot of Hollywood output these days.  Perhaps the term Art Rock is the best cover-all in this instance.

A few spins of the disc later, certain songs will become favourites - for me it is currently In Delay, Continental Slide, Walk That Blade and Metronome, Metronome being one of four tracks which were recorded on England..

Emily Bezar (pronounced Bee-zar) is a polished performer , vocals and keyboards, and inventive composer/arranger.  If you get the chance to see her in concert you be in for a treat (unless you are only into death metal and male vocals!).  And for your added enjoyment (subject to compatible equipment), this CD is HDCD encoded (if you need to ask, you probably haven't got it) but of course it will play on non HDCD equipment.

Jem Jedrzejewski

Emily Bezar



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