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Album Review

Women's music stalwart Cris Williamson comes up with a children's story, accompanied by music, on Lumière, billed as "a science-fantasy fable." In the story, X-Ray Ted, a little boy, discovers "an extraordinary world" inside his closet. Actually, he and his dog Sirius encounter an entire universe and travel extensively through space, meeting strange creatures. Periodically, his trip is interrupted for one of Williamson's melodic pop/rock ballads. Those songs are really what make the album worthwhile, since the story line doesn't have much to recommend it. Ted is alternately charmed and threatened by his vaguely described experiences until, predictably, he finds himself back in his own bed, and it all turns out to be a dream. The songs keep stopping the action cold, but they are far more appealing. It's hard to figure out exactly who the intended audience for this effort is, since its vocabulary, starting with the title, is too advanced for a small child, but the story is too simple to engage an older one. Maybe the music is meant to give grownups something to listen to, but it's likely that the real function of the album (not a bad one at that) may be to put both parents and children to sleep.


Born: 1947 in Deadwood, SD

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Just as baseball historians can only speculate about how players in the old Negro leagues would have fared in the absence of segregation in the major leagues prior to the arrival of Jackie Robinson in 1947, so music historians may ponder what status Cris Williamson might have assumed if she had emerged at a time when admitted homosexuals were not subject to exclusion from major record labels. By the 1990s, openly gay women artists Melissa Etheridge, Indigo Girls, and k.d. lang were able to maintain...
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Lumiere, Cris Williamson
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