The Mortal Moon
(Pendragon Productions, 1994)

The Mortal Moon is the fourth CD for Texas songwriter Marienne Kreitlow. She provides vocals, guitar and keyboards, joined by various other musicians and instruments.

The CD begins with "We Live Here," a song about life in and around Texas refineries. The simple background is very effective with Marienne's low voice, though it has some slightly odd lyrics ("odiferous liquid my car likes to eat," for example). Next up is "Hands of Steel," a pop-sounding not-quite-love song. "I'd Do It Again," which won the Napa Valley Folk Festival Songwriter's Competition, is about taking chances. The soaring "Desert Song" follows, a song about following love.

Perhaps the best song on the entire CD is "Sonnet," a Shakespearean sonnet set to music. The sound is rich with guitar, piano, cello, marimba and glockenspiel. "Romeo is Gone" has a torch-song feeling and is about a lover who has gone missing and taken up with someone else. "L.A. Nightmare" is a rock-influenced song about a lost soul.

"Song For The Gwich'in" is a multi-layered song about the battle of the Gwich'in Indians to preserve their way of life. Although it's a wonderful song, it reminded me strongly of the unfortunate Steven Segal turkey On Sacred Ground.

"There Is A Bird" has an interesting instrumental introduction that evokes Italian countrysides. Unfortunately, it seems to have little or nothing to do with the rest of the song. The final track, "I'm In Love," is a fairly standard love song.

On The Mortal Moon, Marienne combines smooth, melodic tunes and evocative lyrics to create lush imagery. Coupled with her smooth, throaty voice, this makes a good CD for candlelit dinners and dancing.

[ by Laurie Thayer ]