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Glittering Cities

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Album Review

Susan Raven's debut album, Glittering Cities, is transcendent. Though the spiritual theme of the music may not appeal to everyone's taste, the excellence of production and exquisite melding of the instrumentals and vocals will. Raven's voice is gorgeous, and her original compositions are moving and insightful. All cuts are technically excellent. While some may be less lyrically detailed, as with the somewhat simplistic command of "Stack Your Guns," others sail and soar. The title song is a lucid and vibrant example of Raven's total production — ethereal, shimmering, and visionary. (Fans may recognize David Rhodes' guitar on this track from his performances in Peter Gabriel's band.) Also outstanding are the haunting and evocative "Saturn" and the warmly heartfelt "I Think of You," a eulogy for two friends. Particularly noteworthy accompaniment comes from Steffy Sharpstring's glissando guitar and Hilaire Penda's bass on "Saturn," as well as on "I Think of You." In all, this album is a positive introduction to a very talented artist whose skill is clearly presented, not simply in her personal performance, but in her ability to choose other musicians and producers as talented as she is, and create a superb total composition with their support.

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