CD The Familiar (CD 1055000),
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The Familiar

  • 1. Our Man in Havana
    2. Wonderful Year, The
    3. We Stay Still
    4. Rain Outside an Open Door
    5. Song of Songs
    6. Mister Bosco
    7. Familiar, The
    8. In a Lonely World
    9. Days of Delay
    10. I've Been Searching
    11. Heartland
    12. Lament
    13. Blue Sea, The
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 249

  • Credits
    ProducerBill Nelson; Roger Eno

    Engineers: Markus Draws, Dima Popov, John Spence.
    The Familiar is the first meeting between composer, multi-instrumentalist, and arranger Roger Eno -- yes, brother of Brian -- and singer, lyricist, and woodwind player Kate St. John of the Dream Academy. St. John's lyrics and voice adorn five of the 13 songs here, the rest feature Roger Eno's piano accompanied in various settings, some with woodwinds and strings, such as the haunting and lovely "The Wonderful Year," a small chamber piece that contains a gorgeous cello solo by Sarina Sobirovena. St. John's vocals are small, nearly precious, but so wrap themselves around Eno's compositions that they are, in essence, inseparable from them. Take "We Stay Still." As her oboe and the strings slip almost undetectable under his piano, her multi-tracked vocals phrase metaphysical ponderings that sound perfectly natural. Call this music what you will, but pop it's not. It's Baroque, it's elegant, and it's self-conscious, but it's also memorable to listen to -- there's plenty here to engage a listener, however loosely. Producer Bill Nelson brings his guitar to a number of the tracks like this one and the airy opener, "Our Man in Havana"; brother Brian's treatments and synthesizer very casually grace a few numbers as well. There is a sheer musicality here that works despite the rather restrained conceptual and compositional elements, and will no doubt lend it the favor and small mystery of repeated listenings. Fans of Virginia Astley's and Ryuichi Sakamoto's more classical-oriented material will find much to like on The Familiar. ~ Thom Jurek/

  • Critic Reviews
    Audio Magazine (12/93, p.112) - "...[Kate St. John] blends her lyrics and ethereal voice [together] with Roger Eno's piano to make an album of lovely music....THE FAMILIAR is an island of sanity...."
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