In The Garden
2016 / Tuscan Sun Music
Review by Michael Debbage
Can you believe it has been over a decade since Seay blessed us with her very impressive debut 1 Voice back in 2005. Her debut was followed up 3 years later by A Winter Blessing that while seasonally flavored could be played anytime of the year which is the mark of a great Christmas album. So needless to say her third full release In The Garden has been a long time coming with a wait of over 8 years and with it high expectations. As such the expectations are met and exceeded with the recordings of Seay’s compositions, voice and production as colorful, bold, and intricate as the cover of her latest wonder.
While Seay is an artist more than capable of standing on her own two feet, she did not hesitate to call in a few favors by bringing in the talents of Ricky Kej and Stephen Peppos at a performance and production level. This only added even more details that Seay and Jules Delgado are more than capable of creating. However, the audio results of In The Garden will have you “smelling the roses” and enjoying the gorgeous colors that any exotic garden can create.
Of the 12 tracks present nearly half of them close in or exceed 6 minutes running time which are longer compositions that we have typically come to expect from Seay. But there is nothing long winded or meandering about her compositions whether long or short. In fact, it is the elongated compositions that are more compelling allowing Seay to expand her musical voice and arrangements and spread her rich and vibrant talents for all of us to inhale. From the exhilarating opener “Beautiful Earth”, to the depths of the optimistic “Oceanus” all the way to the heavenly heights of “Seraphim (Breath Of The Angels) you will find Seay’s voice in its most complete and adventurous form.
This is not to say that her shorter songs are without inspiration. Seek out “Full Moon Sonata” where her breathy vocal strokes of genius are complimented by the uncomplicated piano work that also features Stephen Peppos. Add the gorgeous vocal harmonies found on “I Will Love You Still” that brings to mind Enya influences and then add the more moody title track, you are going to find a hard time finding any filler on this outstanding album.
They say do not judge a book by its cover but there is a full endorsement to judge In The Garden by its artwork. The bold intricate colors of the front cover are completely supported by the bountiful beauty of Seay’s audio visions that you will fully embrace. As beautiful as an English rose garden can be Seay’s latest recording pays tribute to all of earth’s gardens that are much more exotic and universal allowing her listeners the ability to travel courtesy of her latest gift of musical wonder!!!
August 8, 2016
with David Arkenstone