I recently purchased Aquila at CD Baby after reading a press release about Laurie Larsons latest CD. The 10 song compilation may be one of my best purchases in the last two years. On the whole the album features the amazing vocal styling of an artist obviously influenced by the music of the 60s. Yet there is something modern and compelling about both the sound of the music and Ms. Larsons vocals. Within each song lies a well crafted and produced performance that validates the singers pedigree and many talents.
Some of my favorite songs include My Time Will Arrive which has a bluesy, 60ish feel to it and Architect of Dreams a more spiritual song with haunting vocals that linger in your head long after the song is over. Road to Elysium is a very beautiful song with Ms. Larsons best vocals. I am particularly fond of the end of the song which features an a cappella vocal that is by far the best display of Mr. Larsons amazing vocal talent.
My favorite song on the CD is On This Day which not only features an amazing vocal performance but also a very tasteful guitar solo, that demonstrates the talent of the musicians that perform with Ms. Larson on Aquila.
The song Aquila is a bit pop, a bit reggae and a lot of fun. Mr. Larson combines her vocals with an augmented almost hip hop vocal accompaniment. Add to that some killer guitar playing and you have a fun sound that stands out on the CD.
Utopia features more great vocals and excellent finger style guitar playing. This highlights an important part of the production on Aquila the musicianship is truly first class, always adding to the vocal performance without over whelming it.
Child of the Wind is another favorite of mine. Ms. Larson captures the essences of a young girl, and her struggles to make the right choices. I relate to this song, because I have a young teenage daughter, and every time I hear the song it reminds me of her.
Light of Freedom and Center of Light are also well crafted songs. As are all the songs on this CD. It is no surprise that Ms. Larson is starting to receive strong radio play across the country. Each song is well crafted and very listenable. The best quality of Aquila is that you believe what Ms. Larson is singing. The lyrics are very personal and you know they are important to the singer. Nothing contrived or forced.
Is Aquila a folk rock, classic rock, or alternative rock CD? Honestly you cannot categorize Aquila or Mr. Larsons debut CD Artist Mirage in such simple terms, as her music truly cross many boundaries. And that is what I find so appealing about her music.
Aquila is a self produced and self promoted effort, but it is professionally recorded and the songs are complete performances. Most self produced albums simply do not have the quality and production to be worthy of distribution. Laurie Larsons Aquila is an exception to that rule, and is a hidden gem that needs discovery.
Web master for Kansas Fans http://www.kansasfans.com. For more information about Aquila and Laurie Larson visit Lauries website at http://www.laurielarson.com.