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Album Review

Released in 1986, Voices is a peculiar departure from Claire Hamill's earlier pieces of singer/songwriter art rock. As the title suggests, this is an entirely a cappella album, with Hamill's multiply overdubbed voice taking the place of conventional instruments, including not only the usual keyboards and strings, but the bass and drums as well. Hamill's voice is stretched and mutated into absolutely unrecognizable sounds throughout the record: Play the Cocteau Twins-like "Moss" to someone unfamiliar with the record and they would likely not be able to recognize that the drums and saxophone are actually manipulated vocal tracks. Though the album is a remarkable technical tour de force (particularly considering that this was recorded in 1986, when samplers were in their infancy), as a collection of songs, it's mostly just all right: passable new age pop that drones along pleasantly for three-quarters of an hour but never particularly engages the listener. However, if you've always loved the vocal textures on Enya's albums, Voices will sound familiar and appealing to you.


Born: 04 August 1954 in Port Clarence, Middlesbrough, Yor

Genre: New Age

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

Claire Hamill released her first album in 1971, called One House Left Standing. Her next album was entitled October, and was released two years later. The following year, Hamill released Stage Door Johnnies. Abracadabra came out in 1975. When her career started to lag due to punk rock fever in the music business, she joined up with Wishbone Ash, recording two albums with them. She left that group in 1981, returning to her solo career. The first fruit of that labor was Touch Paper, which came...
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