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The Sounding Board by R J Lannan
RJ Lannan is the reviewer for The Sounding Board.
Other reviews from The Sounding Board by R J Lannan:
  As We Imagine by Lisa Pressman, reviewed by R J Lannan on 9/24/2019
  Red Sky Prairie by Sharon Fendrich, reviewed by Sharon Fendrich on 8/22/2019
  Journey of Tears by Monica Williams, reviewed by RJ Lannan on 10/11/2018
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In The Garden
By Seay
Label: Tuscan Sun Music
Released 6/1/2016
In The Garden tracks
1. Beautiful Earth  
2. Dream  
3. Oceanus  
4. In The Garden  
5. We Are One  
6. Hearts Afire  
7. Anima Mundi  
8. The Golden Spiral  
9. I Will Love You Still  
10. Seraphim (Breath of the Angels)  
11. Full Moon Sonata  
12. Into The Blue (Oceanus Reprise)  
Join hands, join hearts
Let me start by saying the cover art is the epitome of bliss. It features Seay dressed in gold and cobalt surrounded by a rainbow of fantasy artwork. I have waited four long years to hear this songstress raise her crystal voice to the heavens again. Finally, New Age vocalist extraordinaire Seay releases her newest endeavor, In The Garden. There is more music, more vocalese and more passion offered in these twelve tracks of New Age/World music than I have heard in a while. Seay is one of the most unique and empathic voices on the planet and when you hear her, you can feel that her music and her message goes down deep into the pores of your heart and your spirit and fills all the recesses with love and fulfillment. It’s what she does. In The Garden will relax your tired mind and invite you to join in the global celebration of living on this glorious planet. The album has the talented collaboration of several musicians and friends including Jules Delgado, Wouter Kellerman, Varsha and Ricky Kej, Steven Peppos and many more.

The opening track, Beautiful Earth is a production number that would work very well on stage with a jumbo-tron in the background displaying high resolution shots of the planet. Seay’s glorious voice soars seraphically over the world celebrating the power of water, earth and sky. It is an invitation to join her as she rejoices in the beauty that is ours. Our planet is uniquely wonderful. All you have to do is look at the other eight. And yet we treat it as if we have a spare in our back pocket.

Seay offers a lullaby for the planet called Dream. She adds a bit of warm intonation to this mostly instrumental piece, but the music truly carries the number. It is a fantasy of voice and instruments, wafting, flowing, and coursing on cloudy skies. It uplifts the spirit like warm air in a canyon.

Oceanus and Into the Blue (Oceanus Reprise) are the underpinnings of the album. As water links the planet, Oceanus and Into the Blue bonds the album. This garden we call earth is made up of a lot of water and it is the source of nourishment for the land. The melody itself has a cadence like waves breaking upon the shore. It has the pronounced warmth of the sun and the ebb and flow of eternity. One of my favorite science fiction authors, Arthur C. Clarke once said, "How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.” Oceanus is undoubtedly a prayer of thanks for the bounty that it is.

The title tune, In The Garden, is a sweet serenade of color and light and sound that paints a picture of an Eden of delight. Seay’s intonations suggest a lush landscape shaped from musical notes that is dreamy as well as mysterious. She invites to explore the garden and to stay awhile. Regrettably, we do not want to leave.

Hearts Afire, penned by Geoff Koch, is an engaging ballad of voice and music. The message is simple. Wake up every day with your heart full of questions, and seek the answers from all the sources at your command. Awaken with purpose and celebrate that purpose. "Hearts Afire" quickly became a favorite.

I Will Love You Still is where Seay’s unique storytelling voice excels. It is the love song for the ages. It is a refrain of promises and a sense of forever that only two souls in love can create. And better still, believe in.

“Let the hills in this hollow surround us
With a force that no time can take away
I will hold in my heart
The love of a lifetime always”

I have always been a believer in angels and I am reassured by Seay’s tune Seraphim. They are unseen forces around us that cannot be explained away by mere coincidence or chance. Seraphim are thought to be direct worshipers of God, but their other duties are to us as humans. Whether they are divine messengers or guardians, sometimes you just can’t explain how something happened. Perhaps they are just a symbol for faith. Seay’s haunting melody is comforting to me.

Full Moon Sonata has some brilliant harmonies that play with light and shadow. Not all light comes from the sun and this song testifies that there is magic in the air during our darkest hours, so take heart.

I liked every track on this achingly beautiful album. Each song told its own story and each story touched my heart. Seay has taken the basic elements of beauty, song and voice and fashioned a spellbinding creation that pleases the senses and the spirit. Her message to me is our planet, our one big garden, is here to sustain us and we are her caretakers. Let us have equal accountabilities.
Rating: Excellent   Excellent
- reviewed by RJ Lannan on 8/1/2016
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