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Album Review: Sapphire Days
Ann Sweeten
Cover image of the album Sapphire Days by Ann Sweeten
Sapphire Days
Ann Sweeten
2002 / Orange Band Records
50 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Ann Sweeten’s Sapphire Days is quite simply one of the most graceful and quietly soothing albums I’ve heard. “Soothing” often implies ear candy, but that is definitely not the case here. A classically-trained pianist, Sweeten’s themes of nature and saving the environment and animals come from the heart, expressed gently but fervently. The pieces sound deceptively simple, but each is a perfect little gem. The pace and overall feeling of the album is consistent enough to sustain a mood or meditation, but treat yourself to listening to this music carefully and then let it carry you away to a peaceful, tranquil place - a “sapphire day!” All thirteen tracks are original, played on a Steinway grand piano, and Sweeten adds some synth washes for color and ambiance which are never obtrusive or distracting.

I really like this whole album, but a few of the pieces are exceptional. “Walking With the Wind” opens the CD with a wistful, dreamy piece that is both leisurely and passionate. The title song is optimistic and graceful with an absolutely gorgeous melody. “Smoke” is a little moodier, and describes wispy swirls of smoke as they rise and float away as well as the surges of smokey billows - very effective! “In the Shadows” is also a bit darker than the other songs, but is so evocative - this is my favorite of the collection. It is very introspective and bittersweet - I love it!

Sapphire Days is Ann Sweeten’s fifth album to date, but it is the first that I have heard. I’m really looking forward to getting better acquainted with this artist! Sapphire Days is available from annsweeten.com and www.amazon.com, as well as various retail outlets. Very highly recommended!
May 19, 2004
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