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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Go to the Lunascape website  Lunascape - Reflecting Seyelence [B-Track - 2002]

This band is marketed as "the new band from the former Hooverphonic singer". A smart commercial move, given that Hooverphonic have gained a lot of popularity since they released their third album "The Magnificent Tree" in 2000. But actually Kyoko Baertsoen – one half of Lunascape – only was in the band for a couple of months for a live tour. All this isn't so important to me, but Lunascape certainly has its similarities with the Belgian trip-pop band.

After her departure from Hooverphonic, Kyoko teamed up with Walter Hilhorst in 1997. Together they started Lunascape, helped out by several guest musicians on this album. According to the biography they started working on a unique sound influenced by acts such as Dead Can Dance, Cocteau Twins, Sinead 'O Connor, Portishead and many others. They call it ethereal ambient trip-pop music, I call it an unimaginative combination between the earlier mentioned bands. But if we leave out that aspect, "Reflecting Seyelence" turns out to be an excellent album.

The album starts with "Your Shadow", the band's first single which was released already in February 2000. I think that was even before Hooverphonic's "The Magnificent Tree" was released, but I can't help immediately thinking about that particular release: relaxing & dreamy pop music with charming female vocals and a very strong chorus. After numerous listens I feel that this is the album's best track. "Tears From The Moon" is dominated by strings, and is partly written by Rick Nowels (Madonna, Celine Dion, Dido, etc.). The voice of Kyoko comes really close to Björk's, but she's is certainly capable of doing more different tones. Some vocal parts remind me of Sinead 'O Connor, some of Björk, and some of Hooverphonic (Geike Arnaert).

The third track "My 2nd Skin" features an electric guitar, where acoustic guitars are used on most of the tracks. This gives the song a lot more power which makes the "trip" or "ambient" feeling disappear partly. Then we have already heard three singles from the album. "Sequoia", the 8th track, is another single release, taking all elements of the album into one song of slightly more than 3 minutes. This is definitely not the strongest track, to me at the least. Two songs - "Lane Navashi" and "Yairo" - are sung in another language (or no language – there aren't lyrics printed of these) which makes them really interesting. "Lane Navashi" is really dreamy and peaceful, while "Yairo" is almost danceable. This is of course very good for the diversity and variation on the album. The production is also tip-top, courtesy of Ash Howes (Texas, Faithless, etc.).

I can go on complaining about lack of originality and finding even more resemblances with Hooverphonic. But instead, I'd better enjoy the album. "Reflecting Seyelence" contains really good music, relaxing atmospheres and beautiful female vocals, and that really makes up for the bad things about this release. Before singing off: I almost forgot to mention that Hooverphonic fans might find this a nice addition to their collection, and this will surely shorten the wait for the new album.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Justin Faase
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