David Arkenstone and Charlee Brooks
2015 / Green Hill
Review by Michael Debbage
David Arkenstone is very well known for recording epic exotic sweeping musical adventures with bold and precise production qualities. Well there is no doubting the latter as Inamorata is beautifully recording with the wonderful voice of his new collaborator and musical partner Charlee Brooks. However as enjoyable as this recording is it should have been released as Charlee Brooks featuring David Arkenstone as it is Brooks’s voice that is the spotlight in this very mainstream effort.
Inamorata is much more liking to a Sarah Brightman recording as Brooks’ displays that she is more than just a producing or for that matter a vocal enhancer to Arkenstone’s recordings. She is up front and center which is made obvious right from the beginning. Her vocals are clean and pure on the opening track “Believe” and show even greater strength on the more quenching “Clarity” where she pushes her range with emotion and greater intensity. Another stellar performance can also be found on “Don’t Let Me Go” as the lyrical content focuses on expressing the album title that is defined as “a woman with whom one is in love or has intimate relations.”
There is no doubting Charlee Brooks talent and the listening experience is a joy but this is not your typical David Arkenstone recording. That said Arkenstone is featured on the cover song “Main Title (From The Game Of Throne)”, “Lullaby For Belina” as well as the opening introduction on the vocal track “Harem”. Otherwise the exotic factor that was so successful on Loveren is simply absent.
With the exception of “Great Love” where the world of Brooks mainstream efforts collide and integrate seamlessly with Arkenstone’s exotica this is certainly not the collaborative success of Loveren. If you enter this recording with the expectation to hear more of Brooks with Arkenstone collaborating versus vice versa the quicker you will enjoy this more commercial enjoyable recording.
May 23, 2015