CD REVIEW: Deborah Henriksson - The Hearts Cry
By: Cyrus Rhodes
"amazing collection of music"
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST-
Artist: Deborah Henriksson
CD: The Heart’s Cry
Label: DHP Records
Genre: Celtic Contemporary, Orchestral, Ambient Vocal, Classical
Sounds Like: Loreena McKennitt, Enja, Sarah McLaughlin, Celine Dion
Technical Grade: 9/10
New Jersey born, Sweedish based singer-songwriter Deborah Henriksson just releases her latest CD entitled The Heart’s Cry in 2012. This is her third releases to date. Herniksson crafts vocal lines that are inseparable from the soundscapes which support them, ranging in style from Celtic to ambient to traditional and contemporary, with a scant of earthy Americana.
The CD gently takes flight with “Snow” a smooth intro groove that serves up an inviting vocal presence against impressive earthy fretwork, smooth as silk rhythm section and mesmerizing vocal delivery from Henriksson. Track 2 “My Lagan Love” presents a striking, slow moving piece that serves up a methodical musical build with a passionate melodic delivery with heartfelt vocals from Henriksson that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. Track 3 “Perfect Time” delivers an hypnotic melody with impressive strings, thought provoking lyrical content and mesmerizing vocals. The production quality is impressive and the musicianship of everyone involved is clearly above the bar. Along the way you will notice an array of instrumentation with things like piano, harp, acoustic guitar, orchestral elements and ambient accents, lush harmonies all built upon an earthy rhythmic foundation. Song for song the combination of Celtic masterpieces meshed with Henriksson’s vocal presence are masterful. Now turning our attention over to Henriksson - as for her vocal abilities she is quite impressive. Her vocal style is cut from the cloth of Sara McLaughlin, Loreena McKennitt, Enja, and Celine Dion. It definitely works well within the confines of this contemporary Celtic catalogue. Henriksson’s impressive vibrato, falsetto and overall vocal passion clearly showcases a strong and confident vocal ability. I especially like how her voice just sort of flows and ebbs melodically with the music. This is an amazing quality that not many artists can execute. This X-Factor quality clearly makes Henriksson a marquee talent from Sweden. No doubt she has solid musical instincts behind the microphone. This CD from Henriksson delivers 12 compelling tracks all providing an interesting snapshot of an amazing artist with thought provoking lyrical wisdom and amazing wisdom. All piece are striking, captivating, positive, passionate and extremely compelling. From striking “Hearts Cry” to heartfelt “A Fond Kiss” to earthy “My Love is like a Red, Red Rose” to hypnotic “We Sprout in thy Soul” to melodic Harry’s Game” to powerful “Woman of Ireland” to mesmerizing “I Know You by Heart” to upbeat “Evangeline” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with track 14 “Sparrow Can Learn” the perfect wrap for a catalogue like this.
It’s hard to find serious weakness with this production. I give up.
I like everything about Deborah Henriksson. She's truly an infectious Celtic artist that possess a "Gold Standard" - look, sound, appeal, talent and vocal presence. From start to finish “The Hearts Cry” is an impressive collection of music. The music is warm and earthy, highly passionate, uplifting and passionate. The pin drop moments are to die for and her vocal touch is of legends. The songwriting craft is an interesting snapshot of Celtic music delivered from from a clairvoyant artist. All songs are consistent musical experiences, each one possessing a unique personality, flair and signature groove. Note for note, song for song this catalogue is extremely consistent and fills the space with what I would describe as peaceful earthy exuberance that captures the essence of the amazing Celtic spirit.