Tag Archives: Love And Gravity

Review: Live At The Mauch Chunk Opera House – Mary Fahl

Mary Fahl Live At The Mauch Chunk Opera HouseMary Fahl is, simply, a master of her craft. Possessing a unique voice that is as expressive as it is beautiful, she has been able to turn her music – and the music of others – into long-term standards that may never find the catastrophic melt of time to age them. After leaving October Project, she embarked on a solo career that began with the release of her four-song EP, Lenses Of Contact. Eventually, Sony Classical, with its off-shoot label, Odyssey Records, would release the ageless The Other Side Of Time, in 2003. With a brilliant selection of songs including two that would find their way onto movie soundtracks (“I’m Going Home” from Gods And Generals, “The Dawning Of The Day” from The Guys), The Other Side Of Time would be favorably reviewed as a classic of extraordinary songs.

With two more studio albums added to her catalog that includes the re-imagining of Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon in From the Dark Side Of The Moon, and her most recent release, Love And Gravity, Mary Fahl has selectively advanced her career with exactly the music she connects most deeply with, songs that would also connect deeply with the listener. And what better way to communicate that connection than a live setting. And Mary Fahl is a master on her stage, wherever she chooses to re-paint her songs onto a unique canvas for the evening.

Newly released, her performances of her songs, including the performances of some tracks from her From The Dark Side Of The Moon make up the whole of the 2CD set, Mary Fahl – Live At The Mauch Chunk Opera House. Recorded from her September 7, 2013 show at the venue, the live set contains 22 beautiful songs from her studio sets. Mary Fahl is one who can transition effortlessly from a short biographical sketch of the origin of her song to the song itself.

There’s enough of her songs from all fronts. She draws liberally from The Other Side Of Time (the stunning “Ben Aindi Habibi”, “Going Home”, “The Station”, “Dream Of You”). She incorporates plenty from her newest album, Love And Gravity ( “Gravity (Move Mountains, Turn Rivers Around)”, “Siren”, “Both Sides Now”, “Exiles (The Wolves Of Midwinter)”, “Meant To Be”, “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright”, “Like Johnny Loved June”, “Dawning Of The Day”). She creates a medley from her daring and essential From The Dark Side Of The Moon with “Us And Them/Brain Damage/Eclipse”, and adds in a wealth of well-known October Project selections (“Return To Me”, “Deep As You Go”, “Falling Farther In”, “Bury My Lovely”, “Take Me As I Am”, “Be My Hero”). Mary also provides several additional pleasures with a small batch of meaningful songs not previously recorded.

What happens is a pleasant experience from start to finish. Mary Fahl is a storyteller. On this new live issue, she establishes that fact in numerous ways. If you’re a Mary Fahl fan, you need to add Live At The Mauch Chunk Opera House to the shelf along with her studio gems.

Let it be known, there is no comparing Mary Fahl’s voice. The reason is simple, there are none like it. Joni Mitchell has her uniqueness, Joni Joplin hers, as do a host of other classic female singers. As well, they cannot be compared.

 

Review: Love And Gravity – Mary Fahl

MaryFahlLoveAndGravityAlbum releases from Mary Fahl are not predicated on a yearly basis. Nor are they expected every other year.  If you’re a Mary Fahl fan, then you wait until she has a collection of quality efforts to provide. This year rings true with the release of the artist’s latest album, Love And Gravity. Love And Gravity does not disappoint.

Whether you came in with her affiliation with October Project, or having heard her “Going Home” from the film, Gods And Generals, or even acquiring The Other Side Of Time as a combination of the two entry points, you already know the beauty and uniqueness of a Mary Fahl composition.  With her unmatched contralto voice, a heartfelt piece of herself firmly attached to every song, and her bravery in tackling revered favorites (The Dark Side Of The Moon, where she brilliantly re-imagined the entirety of the 1973 holy classic in a ‘long to market’ release named From The Dark Side Of The Moon ), Mary Fahl gives everything to fans.

With Love And Gravity, not only does Fahl begin the new album with “Exiles (The Wolves Of Midwinter)”, which is a commissioned track for the audio book version of Anne Rice’s latest novel, The Wolves Of Midwinter, she goes on to provide a stunning cover of the Joni Mitchell essential, “Both Sides Now”. Now, not many can do “Both Sides Now” and get it completely right (music is a roller coaster ride into the heart of a song), but Mary Fahl appends her soul to the classic. (Yes, you do need to hear it!)

The rest of Love And Gravity is a collection of songs that are guaranteed to find their place somewhere in your life.  “Gravity (Move Mountains, Turn Rivers Around)” is a beautiful enchantment that centers on love.  “Siren” is a ballad that warmly recalls the beauty of her 2003 gem, The Other Side Of Time.  With her replication of what a siren might sound like in the dark nights of the ocean drift, the song ably haunts, and may actually be the best tune on the album.

The album contains ten tracks altogether.  None of them are filler; none waste tracks.  There is a song, and likely more than one (or two), that will take up residence within you forever.  For me, she’s hitting all the right notes.  She has for quite some time now.

Love And Gravity is a winner.

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Mary Fahl To Release Love And Gravity In February

MaryFahlLoveAndGravityThere has been several classic issues from Mary Fahl since her departure from the bewitching band, October Project.  Her contralto voice is a unique one, easily memorable.  What it brought to October Project, it lavished on her solo releases.  To date, Mary Fahl has released an EP of four songs, Lenses Of Contact (2000), and two full-length gems in The Other Side Of Time (2003), and the elusive but mesmerizing re-imagining of Pink Floyd’s timeless classic, The Dark Side Of The Moon , her version called From The Dark Side Of The Moon (2011).

Three of the four songs found on Lenses Of Contact found their way on the Sony Classical/Odyssey debut, The Other Side Of Time.  But the press and Fahl’s many fans took her new full-length album to heart christening it as one of the best releases of the year with its collection of stand-alone tracks.  One song from this album (“I’m Going Home”) was planted in the film, Gods And Generals (2003) to stunning effect. I was personally stunned by its beauty.  My 2003 review of the album was full of praise.  And it’s still an album that I continue to listen to ten years later indicating its long lasting effect on my own consciousness.

Many years later, From The Dark Side Of The Moon provided us a chilling re-styling of The Dark Side Of The Moon and its classic tracks.  That album was planned to be released by V2 Records, but the demise of that label shelved the album for a long time.  Eventually, Mary Fahl regained complete control and released the album, again to high praise.  It’s an album to hear.  With Fahl’s unique voice, the songs take on a mysterious life.

On February 11, Mary Fahl will release her latest album, Love And Gravity.  This album has been on the horizon for some time.  In fact, you have seen a previous announcement by me in these pages months ago.  But the wait is now over.

Love And Gravity contains ten new tracks that include “Exiles – The Wolves Of Midwinter”.  That song was written for the spoken set of Anne Rice’s latest novel, The Wolves Of Midwinter.  That’s right, Anne Rice is a huge fan of Mary Fahl, who calls Fahl’s voice “…supernatural”.  The album also contains a hypnotic cover of “Both Sides Now”, the classic Joni Mitchell song.

Mary Fahl is a powerful artist with a compelling voice, and an ability to write deep lyrics and craft timeless songs pf her own.  The depth and spread of The Other Side Of Time will not soon diminish despite its release some ten years ago. Each of the album’s fourteen tracks are unique triumphs all their own.  If you haven’t heard it, I highly suggest you remedy that now…today.

Unfortunately, these times are different musically.  Artists are not as honored for their music as they used to be.  I fully believe that if Mary Fahl had released her music back in the ’60s, and ’70s, her fame would be immense.

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Mary Fahl To Soon Release New Album, Love And Gravity

MaryFahlLoveAndGravityOnce a voice on October Project for their two Epic Records issues (October Project – 1993, Falling Farther In, 1995), Mary Fahl began her solo career in 2001 with a four-track EP (Lenses of Contact), then following that with the excellent full-length album,  The Other Side of Time (Sony Odyssey, 2003), which reached #22 on Billboard’s charts. (I reviewed her newly released album way back in 2003.)  I called her a unique talent then,  I still dfeel the same way today.

Mary Fahl’s voice is big.  It is full, rich, resonant, and captivating, “a dusky contralto”.  Without expressing my views on The Other Side of Time all over again (read the linked review above for that), I can say that it is an album that, ten years later, I still play on a regular basis.

In 2006, Mary Fahl reinterpreted Pink Floyd’s essential album, The Dark Side of the Moon intending the album to be released by V2 Records.  Unfortunately, the label ceased operations and the album (From The Dark Side Of The Moon) was shelved until 2011 when Mary Fahl self-released the album.  As with her previous works, Mary Fahl’s voice lends an other-worldly quality to the familiar tracks creating a mesmerizing effort which should be heard.

MFTheOtherSideOfTime        MFFromTheDarkSideOfTheMoon

For more than a year, it has been hinted that a new album of originals (Gravity) would be forthcoming.  Recently, Mary Fahl updated her website with news that the new album is very near as she distributes a “selections” CD at her concerts.  The upcoming album is now being called Love and Gravity, and should be released sometime in the remaining months of 2013.

If you haven’t heard Mary Fahl’s great voice, then now is a good time to acquaint yourself with it.  She’s too good – far too good – to be ignored.  A quick visit to her official website will introduce you to four tracks, including “Brain Damage” from her re-imagined The Dark Side of the Moon album.

MaryFahl