The Bright Forever – Star of Wonder (Christmas CD)
Megan Hook URL – http://www.meganhook.com/Welcome.html
The Bright Forever is a Los Angeles Alterative Rock/Pop group led by lead vocalist Megan Hook who is originally from Canada. The Bright Forever has released several CD’s over that last few years and this is their official Christmas Offering Star of Wonder. To say the least the music on this CD is as infectious as the artists themselves.
Star of Wonder is a sensational Christmas release. I like the way things gently star off with Track 1 “The First Noel” it delivers a soothing Piano/Vocal combination with some conservative String accents and low end bass notes. Hook ha s gifted vocal ability as she glides with precision through the song. Right away I can hear singers like Maire Brennan, Azam Ali, Loreena McKennitt, Celtic Woman and Enya. Track 2 and 3 “Joy to the World” and What Child is This” really open thing s up. The musical flow of both tracks is melodic, bold and at times can push hard with thought provoking lyrical content peppered with Classic flavoring of the renaissance era.
I get the impression Hook could sing in Opera. Despite this she manage to somehow stay within the fairway of marketability but definitely pushes boundaries towards the classic realm. These are compliments by the way. The musicianship follows down the same path offering up much in the way of Christmas Folk. The harmonic notes that are plucked from the heavens as the passionate, spiritual narratives unfolds. Star of Wonder makes it’s mark by telling ordinary tales of extraordinary things. As a result Megan Hook connects us to the universal power and emotional goodness of love, favor and all things Christmas. All songs are above the bar and many vocal performances are mesmerizing.
The Bright Forever deliver cosmic goodness that is sure to induce an emotional response from any willing audience. From beginning to end “Star of Wonder” fills the air gracefully and unobtrusively. It keeps the same festive mood throughout while maintaining an Pop/Folk emotional feel. As for the vocals they deliver emotionally invigorating performances that will remind you of the singers I named previously. Top track are: Deck the Halls, Joy to the World, What Child is This, Angels We Have Heard on High. Criticism: CD tends to sound repetitive overall. If Hook had a producer and a 100k budget she could no doubt pull it off. I do like how Hook kept all track short but sweet on all tracks. Perhaps more traditional Celtic pieces are needed in addition adding 4 more tracks. This is Traditional Christmas carols with a “the Bright Forever” twist! Warm, intimate vocals, piano, cello, bass, harp and bells give these carols a fresh feel… Hope your holidays are Merry and Bright. Cheers!
In conclusion, this is one release that will bring back memories of a not so distant age where great renaissance style vocals ruled the world and possessed a striking spirit. All the while inspiring people with amazing artistic energy that get people thinking, singing, dancing and even preying.
Final Score: 7/10 Stars
by Erica Carr, edited by J.J. McCall. Approved by Drew Blackwell (UK)