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Dreams & Visions

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Album Review

A sentence in Mary-Kathryn's press biography reads, "Her recent influences include Enya, Loreena McKennitt, the Afro Celt Sound System, Peter Gabriel, Sting, Seal, and Sarah Brightman." As a listen to her fourth album, Dreams & Visions, confirms, this list is accurate, at least in a musical sense. Mary-Kathryn is part of a long tradition in gospel and contemporary Christian music. CCM's adherents often have made a practice of copying popular musical styles, even including heavy metal, and simply applying religious lyrics to them. There is a stealth aspect to this, of course, as if the religious musicians are trying to sneak their message in with fans of different musical styles, and it is, of course, somewhat lacking in originality. But it continues to be tried, and Mary-Kathryn is just one more example. What is unusual about her is her choice of style. She adopts the world music-inflected sound of Gabriel and Sting in particular, although there is plenty of Enya's echoey vocal style as well. Over the ethnic percussion and keyboard burblings, however, the lyrics are standard-issue gospel praise song. For example, as an instrumental musical track, "Glory Forever" may sound like something that could fit on Gabriel's So, but the first verse goes like this: "I worship you and I sing/I give to you everything/With all my heart all my praises to you/Your glory shines like the sun/The lamb of God, righteous one/Bright morning star." Elsewhere in that press biography, Mary-Kathryn is described as "a unique voice in the popular and rapidly-growing ‘New Age/New Thought movement.'" She may well be the only artist in CCM copying this particular brand of adult pop, but there isn't anything new in her message; it's as old as the Rock of Ages.

Customer Reviews

Dreams and Visions

Mary-Kathryn has a sound that catches your spirit, and her message makes an impact on your soul! I love her music!! My favorite song on this album has a special place in my heart, "In Your Time"...a close second is "Flying Towards the Sun". Get it for yourself and enjoy!! ~JG

Where Do You Get These Album Reviewers, iTunes?

If a reviewer finds himself/herself lost in the thicket of "all this X music is alike", the honest thing to do is just stop and admit they are out of their breadth. The review for this album is just silly, and is not helpful to anyone interested in the genre. I've never heard this album but I'm giving it 5 stars on the theory it must be pretty good if this doofus didn't get it.

Her Best Album Yet.

Mary-Kathryn has be recording and sharing her music since her first album in 1995. "Dreams & Visions" is her fourth album to date and is her best album!! My all time favorite song on this CD is the first one called "Incense Of Praise." I loved it the moment I heard it. I would classify her music as World Music but some songs have a more Celtic sound where others sound more Middle Eastern. I was listening to an interview and she said that God told her that her call was to be a psalmest and she was to share her music to help inspire and bring healing. If you like Moya Brennan, Enya or Loreena McKennit then you will like her. She has recontly gained success in the New Age genre. When asked about the sound she states that it was ours first. It is a great album and I highly recommend any of her albums but in my opion this one is her best!


Genre: World

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Gospel singer/songwriter/pianist Mary-Kathryn was born and raised in Cuero, TX, and began taking piano lessons as a child. She played cornet and French horn in junior high school and began singing in church. She earned a B.A. in journalism from Texas State University. She also attended the School of the Psalmist in Dallas, TX, where she studied the presentation of worship music, which prepared her for her performing career, and she began writing songs and making demos. She launched her debut album,...
Full Bio
Dreams & Visions, Mary-Kathryn
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Customer Ratings