Soulful, melodic and charming, are but three of the words that could describe a Nancy Shoop –Wu album, funny thing is, I was only thinking of her last album Rainbow Road the other day, when this new collection came across my desk to review and called, Full Bloom.
Here is an album that is as beautiful as the day is new, one that starts with a composition so light and attractive in the title header itself, Full Bloom. Featuring producer Derek Nakamoto on piano, a wonderful performance can be found here, and one must add there is also a classy percussive backdrop, from whom else but Peter Korpela, while Nancy Shoop-Wu’s violin ushers forth some of the most profoundly beautiful violin ever.
One of my favourite pieces early on was the delectable Night Rainbow, the piano and violin combination was utterly sublime, and created a truly moving arrangement and composition; add the light percussion and you get a rhythmic creation of not only great colour, but a glourious musical tapestry of tone too.
Dreams is a piece to bring peace, this is a transcendent offering that slows down the mind, quietens the beating heart, and softens the cadence of the day, a fine presentation by the artist here and her compatriots, on one of the most heartfelt songs off the album.
Featuring the acoustic skill set of Mitchell Long, the artist for the first time on this album, brings forth her vocals as she sings on Flying Away. Without doubt, this is one track that contains a wonderful energy within its construction of movement; one through the tempo alone, could be found sailing high on the blue skies, and over lapis oceans with ease; if ever there was a fine example of an excellent feel good piece then this is it, and in my view one of the best compositions thus far created by the artist.
At the half way marker we come across a composition from the very core of all that is love and called Beautiful. Whilst listening to this track I became extremely emotional, I could feel so much in here that needed to come out, the violin of the artist and the piano, manifested for me something truly and very deeply moving, on this quite passionate and emotive opus.
We share a similarity, both myself and the artist draw inspiration from our own islands to create our work, and that love of our true homes shines through with such a colourful clarity. Here on Olinda Winds we have a fine example of that, the violin here issues a portent through performance, a change can be felt in this remarkable presentation; again Shoop-Wu gifts us a song that is passionate, but one that contains a blissful calmness to its overall construction as well.
On Angel Above Me there is a softness that is so sublime, one that could have easily fluttered down on the wings of an angel themselves. Once more the delicacy of performance here is both touching and melodic and the song itself creates a soothing narrative of a tranquil nature.
Serenade has an almost classical feel to its overall narrative; the fluency of the violin here creates a heartfelt plea of sorts, one that manifests a vibration of musical love with each and every note played; a moving performance that reminded me of segments within Vaughn Williams Norfolk Rhapsody.
The penultimate track off this quite breath taking release is called Golden Leaves, a quite apt song for those who have a regular fall, for me it reminds me of the past, and the depth found within this track is redolent of late October days, in this season that was once of mists and restful sunsets.
Our last musical gift comes with the arrival of the final offering and entitled Morning Paradise, a sensitive way to end the album indeed, a gentle percussive beat and a soothing piano, whilst the Violin of Nancy Shoop –Wu creates a wonderful sun kissed opus to end with, in a song with a positive vibration that will live on forever.
Full Bloom by Nancy Shoop-Wu is an album that has all the hall marks of a really great new age/contemporary instrumental album, each performance, by a plethora of talented artistes is a pleasure to listen to, and each and every song manifests a whole world of peace on their own. Full Bloom by Nancy Shoop-Wu is an outstanding example of what an artist can achieve when their personal musical muse is full flow, and the result is a collection of compositions that are graceful, melodic and masterful in everyway.