Lisa Bell - Dancing On The Moon
What would be more of a challenge in today's musical landscape: making an album that goes platinum, or making an album that clearly defines the goals and aspirations of the musicians involved? Of course it's possible to do both, but it happens very, very rarely. I won't go out on a limb and claim the charming Lisa Bell's latest offering, Dancing On The Moon is that sort of album, but it definitely seems to satisfy both the potential to sell a bunch of copies while simultaneously illustrating in sheer brilliance the musical spirit of Bell and her associates.
The music here bends across several genres. Bell is known for a past that focused on strict jazz standards and according to her website, only recently has she begun to branch out into more pop, soft rock and rootsy soundscapes. All across Dancing On The Moon, this is evident, as her breezy, silky-smooth voice and to-the-point, classic pop-esque lyrics blanket the warm grooves and expressive guitar flourishes of her band. This is very much a defined "Adult Rock" album, insomuch as it deals with mature lyrical subject matter and, on the risk-taking scale, it ranks as low as it should considering the styles prevalent. From song to song, there is something to enjoy, from bluesy ballads to more upbeat rockers and the intermingling of each throughout. There are no true "stand out" tracks, but I could imagine each making a worthwhile single. It's that sort of album, where a front-to-back listening gives the same impression as listening to one track a day would.
Wonderfully expressive and detailed, with competent musicianship, songwriting and lyrics, Dancing On The Moon is a record that, while certainly filling the description of a "niche" record that won't neccesarily win over anyone not looking for a softer, more mature musical experience, is broad enough in it's influences and atmospheres to attract a wide audience. Ultimately, Lisa's soul and spirit captivate far beyond the rest of the sound, and it is there that most will either find something to love or something to leave alone.
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