5* Album Review by Musical Discoveries
Five years after the Amy Bee's debut recording Here I Am, the British singer songwriter's ten-track second album Angels and Demons has been released. It is coincidence that Amy's album shares its title with the action-packed sequel to the blockbuster motion picture The Da Vinci Code and our viewing on Blu-Ray just a few days ago. In this more richly produced and professional album project, Amy performs vocals and piano.
The album was produced by Paul Johnston at Rhythm Studios. Since her debut Amy has gigged in a variety of UK venues and developed a strong following.
Amy is a singer / songwriter based in Oxfordshire, England. She has a Diploma in Music and Technology as well as years of experience--starting work at fifteen--in both studio recording and live work playing the London circuit. Brought to the attention of Musical Discoveries by a close friend in 2003, the artist's growth is apparent in her new recording.
While the album boasts ten tracks, the upbeat acoustic guitar-backed opener "One More Time" is book-ended by a delightful remix. Multi-tracked vocals add great texture to Amy's sweetly delivery lead in the catchy chorus. The remix is cast at a different tempo, features narrow band vocal processing and a pounding bass part. The vocal harmonies are superb.
The singer's heart-warming ballads are gracefully delivered over light backing.
The evocative "Holding on to You" develops strength from multiple acoustic guitar passages and gently layered vocals. The album draws on two of the song names for its title. "Demons" is a wispy ballad backed with bass, drum machine and electric guitar. The track illustrates the Amy's power as the lead singer, while self-backed harmonies and precise acoustic guitar fingering contribute to the depth of the arrangement.
"Angel" is a gentle acoustic ballad with an uber-rich vocal part. The lush chorus demonstrates the superb production quality delivered on the record. The mid-tempo pace and almost island-textured sound creates the ideal mood for "Perfect Place." Crisp percussion and tight acoustic guitar--listen for the delightful solo in the bridge--provide a solid foundation for Amy's delightful vocals.
The addition of cello to the rich arrangement of "I'll Be the First," a warmly delivered ballad, is a clear demonstration of the artist's growth on Angels and Demons. We especially appreciate the vocal mix across the record, and it is tremendously delivered in this heartfelt song. Amy's jazz-tinged and Latin-edged ballad "Perfection," is a superb track that further illustrates the artist's virtuosity and showcases the power she can deliver her vocal work. Listen for the stunning backing vocal harmony.
In addition to the ballads, Amy Bee can also make good pop music. "Rain on My Bones," is arranged an accessible, upbeat, radio-friendly pop number. Instrumental arrangements, the beat and the vocal treatment contribute to the sound. "Love Yourself Again" is an equally accessible track, with layers of vocals perfectly echoing the lead and backed with light and crisp arrangements. A remix would storm the radio charts. Amy's English accent adds a unique flair to the track.
The music of singer songwriter Amy Bee has a smooth and mellow vibe, silencing listeners and leaving them hanging on her every word. Her songs relate to the day to day realities of life, love and happiness. Emotive lyrics and subtle guitar hooks will never allow you to forget her music. (28 November 2009)
PRESS RELEASE ON 2015 UK SONGWRITING CONTEST