Priscilla Hernandez,
Ancient Shadows: The Ghost & the Fairy
(Yidneth, 2006)

Priscilla Hernandez's Ancient Shadows is really a two-in-one CD with two intertwined themes: "The Ghost" and "The Fairy." Each theme has a different feel to it. "The Ghost" is dark and -- at times -- slightly menacing, while "The Fairy" is lighter and more melodic. Both are tied together by a strong thread of melancholy and Hernandez's clear soprano voice, which is rather reminiscent of Enya or Loreena McKennitt.

The gothic sound occasionally runs away with itself, as on the unmelodic, unpleasant, whispered-rather-than-sung "Nightmare." And yet other tracks like the instrumental "The Prince & the Fairy," with its strong piano, more than make up for it.

Hernandez composed the music, wrote the lyrics and plays many of the instruments on the CD. Two liner-note booklets accompany the CD, one each for "The Ghost" and "The Fairy," serving the double purpose of providing the song lyrics and showcasing Hernandez's fairy artwork. The only problem with this approach is the tunes for each of the themes are interspersed with one another, more like a conversation than a presentation, so finding them in the appropriate booklet can be confusing.

The words "ethereal" and "haunting" have been used to describe Hernandez's work. "Ethereal" certainly applies, but I'm not so sure about "haunting," which, to me, implies something that stays with you, a melody or lyric that you can't forget. And although Ancient Shadows is mostly lovely and certainly unique, it just does not haunt me. I recommend it as an occasional pleasure only.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Laurie Thayer

11 October 2008

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