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Louisa John Krol - Alabaster

Alabaster is the fourth album from Australian singer Louisa John Krol and the successor to the highly acclaimed 2001 release Ariel. As well as performing vocal duties, Louisa plays an array of acoustic instruments and co-writes her material along with John Krol and Brett Taylor. Louisa’s work has been described as ‘neo-classical rock’ or ‘ethereal pop’ and comparisons with Kate Bush are often made. Alabaster displays a collection of elegant and sophisticated quality pop songs. Lyrics and quotes appear from Shakespeare, Dante, and Homer with one particularly sublime track 'The Search for Lost Souls-Midnight' being an interpretation of an Emily Dickinson poem. 'The Lily and the Rose' is an anonymous 16th century love poem that Louisa has set to music. Other tracks include 'Waterwood and Me and the Machine', which are dreamy, surreal and quite charming, whilst 'Stone Lake' is a simply beautiful piece of introspection. Louisa collaborates with a number of European musicians including Athens based Daemonia Nymphe, Francesco Banchini from GOR/Ataraxia, and Harry Williamson from Faraway. The CD ends with two impressive and quite contrasting pieces 'Approaching the Island of Sirens' which is an experimental ambient offering and then a dance track titled 'Dancing over Acheron'. Alabaster is certainly another accomplished and impressive release. For more information go to (review by Mike Shankland)