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Album Review: The Crossing: The Best of Shirley Cason
Shirley Cason
Cover image of the album The Crossing: The Best of Shirley Cason by Shirley Cason
The Crossing: The Best of Shirley Cason
Shirley Cason
2008 / Rainbow Lakes Records
48 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
The Crossing is a collection of eleven of Shirley Cason’s most-requested pieces from four of her previous albums. I have always liked Shirley’s music a lot, and this compilation has taken her strongest pieces from the past nine years and exhibits the variety of colors in her music. Much of Cason’s music was borne of personal crises and the loss of loved ones, so there is definitely a melancholy cast to many of these pieces, but they are never bleak or without hope. Cason’s music is instrumental with classical and pop influences, and most of it is lightly orchestrated on keyboards. Cason has placed the music on this CD in chronological order with three tracks each from Forever In Bloom (1999), A Summer Dream (2002), and Winter Mornings (2003), and two from her most-recent release, From My Heart (2008). If you are new to Shirley Cason’s music, this is a great place to start! If you have her previous recordings, it’s still really nice to have a “best of” collection with favorites all on one disc.

The Crossing begins with “Journey,” the opening track from “Forever In Bloom,” and a piece full of wistful longing. “Seabreeze” has an easy tropical rhythm and a graceful, carefree sway. I absolutely love “Last Walk” from “A Summer Dream.” On the dark, mysterious side, the emotional impact of this piece is incredible. I found myself coming back to it over and over. The rhythms and melody are simple, but they certainly communicate! “I Love You, I Do” is a heartbreaking goodbye to a terminally ill sister, and then “Summer Dream” tells of being with loved ones again in dreams, that in dreams we never die. There is a real warmth and sense of peace that is truly hopeful and healing. “Beauty Of the Earth” from “Winter Mornings” is a gorgeous guitar piece with light orchestration that shimmers with beauty and glows with a deep sense of contentment. “Winter Skies” is more ambient, and sparkles with the chill of winter light dancing on snow - so peaceful! “Icicle Melt” is also very ambient, suggesting the sound of vast open stillness and the percussive sound of ice melting - wonderfully haunting! “Inner Peace With Love” from “From My Heart” warms things back up again with a tender love song that is graceful and soothing. “Peace, For Moments in Life” is a heartfelt guitar piece that brings this collection to a charming, thoughtful close.

If you enjoy peaceful synth and keyboard music that comes from the heart, The Crossing is a great choice! It is available from www.shirleycason.com and amazon.com. Recommended!
February 5, 2009
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