“NOVA: An Acoustic Journey” by Juliet Lyons and John McLean Allan
Album Review by Dyan Garris, New Age CD, New Age Notes Radio, and Zone Music Reporter (ZMR)
Juliet Lyons is one of the most well-known voices in film and television. Juliet’s amazing and unforgettable voice and music can be heard in over 200 television shows and feature films, such as Disney’s live-action “Cinderella,” and “The Ghost In The Shell.” John McLean Alan is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and a lifetime Scottish bagpiper. John’s music can be heard in the Oscar Winning movie “Million Dollar Baby” and “Superman vs. Batman,” to name a few of his musical accomplishments.
“NOVA: An Acoustic Journey” is an exciting collaboration between these two established artists. Here, they’ve put aside the instruments they’re both best known for (Juliet’s voice and John’s bagpipes) and stepped into this new musical adventure. So, “Nova” seems to be the perfect title for this journey. The album is exquisitely calming and soul-soothing, with the instrumentation consisting of acoustic guitars, piano, synths, and percussion. And there are a few of those amazing ethereal vocals by Juliet sprinkled in along the way.
Masterfully magical in every way, “NOVA” is quietly phenomenal on every level. Almost 24 minutes in 6 tracks, I would love for this to have been longer. Perhaps, in the future, we will see more from these collaborators. One can only hope.
The album begins with “Luminous Radiance,” which is true to its title. It is utterly radiant in a quiet, comforting way. Be sure to watch the outstanding official video. What really strikes you about the music on “NOVA” and the “Luminous Radiance” video is the authenticity, the quality of production as well, along with, of course, the wonderfully composed, melodic, and soothing music.
Following is the hauntingly beautiful, “Chaco.” Chaco Culture National Historical Park is a United States National Historical Park in New Mexico, which is where Juliet is from originally. Gently flowing piano, acoustic guitar, synth, flute, percussion, and very soft ethereal vocal backgrounds, perfectly capture the atmospheric awesomeness of this place.
Did you know there are over 500 stone circle sites located in Scotland? Scotland is where John originally hails from. Everything is beautiful in the piece, “Stones and Circles,” which features acoustic guitar, piano, and soft synths. I love the percussion here as well, which is one of the elements that makes this special. Too, I love how they did this, with tributes to both their roots. It’s brilliant.
“Northern Lights” is another sweetly melodic piece featuring John performing on acoustic guitars, and Juliet on piano, synths, and percussion. This is so very beautiful, softly glowing, flowing, and immensely soothing.
One of my favorites on this brief album is “Vedana.” “Vedana” is an ancient Sanskrit word essentially translating to “feeling” or “sensation.” We are alive as spirit in the gift of a physical body, so we are able to experience consciousness in this way. The song features Juliet’s ethereal wordless vocals, as well as piano, synths, and percussion, plus John’s perfectly played acoustic guitars. I love this in every way.
The album closes out with the lovely, “Emergence,” which is 3-1/2 minutes of what feels like a gentle, caressing lullaby. It’s the perfect ending, as an ending is always a new beginning. We very much look forward to whatever other musical collaborations will possibly emerge from these two gifted artists. Meanwhile, we have the gift of NOVA, which is perfect. You will want to get the whole thing.
Get the album here: https://www.julietlyons.com/music/nova-an-acoustic-journey
“Luminous Radiance” video: https://youtu.be/KA0j4p97RL0
Broadcast & Media Promotion:
Sherry Finzer, Higher Level Media