Cheryl Gunn — The Sun at Midnight
(Earthtone ETD-7904, 1999, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2000-05-01
Liner notes which throw phrases around like “an immensely personal journey towards self-discovery” and “this powerful message of personal redemption” are all warning signs: Danger! New Age Bullshit Ahead! Look, I know there’s an audience for new-age music. I even like Enya, for crissakes. But for every Enya or Patrick O’Hearn, there are a dozen Cheryl Gunns and John Teshes around, peddling what are essentially sonic tranquilizers. This music is meant largely for a female audience as a means of striking an emotional chord while providing a calming and relaxing presence. Songs like “Au Par au Belum” and “Rab-Un-Naw” waltz along gently on tides of acoustic guitar, percussion, and Gunn’s willowy piano and drifting string synths, but there’s not a memorable melody to be found, nor any excitement or drama. The closest thing to any heat comes during the pipes and percussion display on “Venus over Skye,” but it is an isolated surge of life amongst a largely somnolent collection. Fans of Yanni or Secret Garden may find these pieces to their liking, but it’s all a bit too wrapped up in sweet sentimentality and “personal redemption” for me. Your mileage may vary.
Related artist(s): Cheryl Gunn
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more