2015 / Minstrel Hall Music
Review by Kathy Parsons
Starlight Starbright is the second solo album by Blackmore’s Night’s Candice Night and is a collection of thirteen lullabies and songs for children of all ages. Sweet, charming, and overflowing with love and innocence, Night started working on this album when she was pregnant with her first child who is now five years old. Some of these songs are familiar - Disney, a couple of older pop ballads, nursery rhymes - and five are originals. The package also includes a beautiful full-color 20-page booklet and two videos. The booklet contains the lyrics for the five original songs plus the new lyrics for “Rock A Bye Baby” (no falling cradle this time!), photos, and four “Stories To Dream By” by Autumn Blackmore (Candice’s daughter). The two videos are full productions of “Once In a Garden” and “Lullaby In the Night” - both exceptionally well done. Some of the songs have the minstrel feel of Blackmore’s Night, but most are more of a pop/new age hybrid. Instrumental accompaniment is quite minimal. Night’s voice is velvety-smooth and rich, soothing away the cares of the day (or traffic or work or studying, etc.) with warmth, love, and tender smiles. Night is also known as Princess of Magiquest in Great Wolf Lodges throughout the world, so she has never lost the joyful innocence of magic and make-believe - refreshing in the harsh reality of today’s world. Actually, I think adults probably need this music even more than babies and children!
Starlight Starbright begins with a small child saying “Good night, sleep tight” and then goes into perhaps the best-known lullaby ever, “Rock A Bye Baby,” with new lyrics. Instead of the traditional “When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall....” the lyrics are now “When the wind blows, there’s nothing to fear ‘cause Mommy and Daddy will always be here” - much more comforting! “Robin Red Breast” is a Night original that soars like the various birds she sings of. “So This Is Love” comes from the Disney classic, Cinderella. With a simple piano accompaniment, Night recreates the magic of the movie and makes the song new again. “Sleep Little Baby” and “In My Arms” both come from deep within the heart of a mother’s love and desire to always keep her children safe and free from care and pain - both favorites. John Denver’s classic “Annie’s Song” has never been sweeter or more heartfelt. Ditto for Kenny Loggin’s “Return to Pooh Corner.” “Once In a Garden” is a charming ode to the innocence of childhood, as is the accompanying video. “Misty Blue,” is a beautiful and soothing lullaby by Night and husband Ritchie Blackmore, bringing this lovely album to a sweet and gentle close.
So, if you are looking for some wonderful music for children or an escape from the stress of life, Starlight Starbright is an excellent choice! It is available from Amazon and iTunes.
December 15, 2015
Review by Michael Debbage