Exposé Online banner

Oberon — Sonnet
(Koch KOC-CD-8079, 2000, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2000-10-01

Sonnet Cover art

Sonnet is an interesting collection. At its core are readings of 12 of Shakespeare's sonnets, eight of which come with a song. The readings are all by trained English actors that lend them a high degree of authenticity. The songs and background music to the readings are the product of Atlanta-based composer/arranger Trammell Starks who has recently gained attention with his Taliesin Orchestra project that topped the Billboard chart last year. If I were to be kind I'd liken Starks to a modern day Chip Davis, though in reality John Tesh or Yanni are a more apt comparison. I'd best describe the songs on Sonnet as new-age yuppie pop, orchestral in their approach, though played on modern instruments by ace studio musicians, and all graced by the lush, breathy soprano of Felicia Sorenson. At their best, these tracks recall Joanna Hogg and Iona ("Heaven Queen") or Loreena McKennitt ("Samain Night," a McKennitt composition). Otherwise, they're really not much more than glorified muzak, full of romantic, breezy melodies and wispy sentiment with just enough rock to somehow make it cool. It's all extremely seductive and easy to enjoy though, as much as I enjoy McKennitt or even Enya, this kind of thing ultimately lacks any soul or lasting value. It probably sounds great with some wine and cheese, though.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 20, 2000 releases

Related artist(s): Trammell Starks (Oberon)

Latest news

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ivanhoe - Polarized – Can't get enough of that Iron Maiden? Check out Polarized. There is no doubt, as musicians, Ivanhoe are first rate. The singer, Andy B. Frank is very good, if he's a German singing in English,...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues