"Out of the Darkness" by Michele McLaughlin on iTunes

13 Songs

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5

32 Ratings

From MainlyPiano

KathyPiano7,

An unfortunate aspect of being an artist is that it is often life’s most painful experiences that bring out the best of their artistic expression. Emotional extremes make us all dig deeper into who we are, but most artistic personalities have the capability of going much deeper and feeling those emotional extremes even more intensely. It’s an odd mixture of blessing and curse, but when the result is a creation that is superior to anything an artist has done before, it takes away some of the sting. Such a creation is Michele McLaughlin’s "Out Of the Darkness." The thirteen tracks express the very personal and turbulent journey of the breakup of McLaughlin’s marriage and subsequent divorce, seeking ways to quell the pain, trying to find a way to survive, and then emerging much stronger and happier than she thought possible. I’ve been on this journey a couple of times, myself, and everything about this music rings true - the roller coaster of emotions and then gradual healing. I deeply sympathize with what McLaughlin has experienced, but this album is stellar! It is her eleventh release to date, and twelve of the thirteen tracks are solo piano.

“Forsaken” begins the journey. Intense, sorrowful, and broken are the words that come to mind to describe this piece. It is also utterly beautiful. “The Descent” expresses despair, loneliness, and fear. Played in somewhat hushed tones, it is very inward-looking, trying to get past the feelings of grief and heartbreak. “Indignation” reaches the place where anger and resentment replace some of the hurt. “Forbearance” is the moment of acceptance - a turning point achieved. The music indicates strength returning and the knowledge that things really will be okay with time and healing. “So Long Mr. Selfish” is a great piece. It appears as a piano solo and then again at the end as an orchestrated bonus track. The piece was approached as a release of anger and became an over-the-top comic expression of “good riddance!” Both versions are wonderful! “Transformation” expresses the process of changing everything, dusting oneself off, and beginning again. Of course, there is still sadness and hurt, but there is also hope and looking forward again. “Finding Solace In Friends” is the most lighthearted piece in the group - musical sunshine! “New Light” conveys a rediscovered sense of optimism and inner peace. “In The Stillness of Peace” gracefully conveys a soothing inner calm. “Rejoice” is McLaughlin’s “ultimate song of gratitude and celebration.” Far from giddy, this is a celebration of a healed heart that has reached a point of moving on. The bonus version of “So Long Mr. Selfish” is triumphant and glorious - a musical kick in the pants!

I really appreciate Michele McLaughlin’s courage in sharing what she has expressed in "Out of the Darkness" - in both the music and the poignant liner notes. I also need to mention the stunning artwork and album design by Matt Strieby - he does an amazing job! "Out of the Darkness" is Michele’s best and strongest work to date. Very highly recommended!

Rejoice

KariG1444,

What a fabulous artist! Her music stirs the soul. I do rejoice as I let the melodies sink in ... This morning I have been rejoicing because my daughter who was held up at gun point last night escaped in one piece. I'm so grateful this Sunday morning, thanking God for my precious daughter's life and well being. Then this beautiful song came on "soundscapes," a cable channel my husband and I listen to on Sunday mornings as we prepare for church. Michele's song captured so perfectly how I'm feeling...rejoicing that my daughter is alive and nothing worse happened to her. Thank you for this beautiful work of art. A blessing, as I celebrate my blessings!

About Michele McLaughlin

A self-taught pianist and composer with a delicately facile style, new age keyboardist Michele McLaughlin played the instrument as a kindergartener. Inspired by a performance of George Winston's she saw at just eight years old, she applied herself to learn his tunes by ear and eventually began writing her own pieces. She released her first album, the tranquil Beginnings, in 2000. After positive feedback, she composed 16 songs in four months for her second release, Elysium. Over the next few years, she composed, performed, and self-released 2002's The Journey, 2003's A Change of Color, 2004's The Beginning of Forever, and the next year's After the Storm, before releasing Reflections 2000-2005: The Best of Michele McLaughlin. The collection was followed by 2006's Christmas Plain & Simple, and Dedication in 2007. Around this time, she committed to being a full-time musician and began performing and touring regularly. A Celtic Dream arrived in 2008, and 2010 saw Out of the Darkness and Christmas Plain & Simple II. Breathing in the Moment was released in 2012, followed by 2013's Waking the Muse. 2015's Undercurrent debuted at number five on the Billboard New Age Albums chart. ~ Marcy Donelson

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