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Tracklist: 1. The Spell 1:24 (Terry B) 2. Ephemeral Fire 4:44 (Jones / Tony Morland) 3. Time will Tell 5:01 (= / =) 4. An Only Child 3:57 (Jones / Terry B) 5. Wrap Me In Your Skin 4:19 (Jones / T. Morland) 6. Listen 2:22 (Jones / Terry B) 7. Sandalaphon 1:59 (= / =) 8. Girl Power 4:58 (Terry B) 9. Menage a Trois 6:10 (Jones / Terry B / T. Morland) 10. Floating 4:50 (Holder / Terry B) 11. We Are One 3:19 (Jones / Terry B) 12. Baird My Soul 6:03 (Jones / Terry B / T. Morland) 13. Hector 3:25 (Jones / Terry B) 14. Ephemeral Fire 4:08 (= / =) 15. Dream World 7:14 (Terry B) Line-up: Terry B - lead & back vocals; keyboards; whistles & flutes; percussion Tim Jones - electric, acoustic, & bass guitars; keyboards; programming Guest musicians: Rob Kirtley - bass guitar (on several tracks) Steve Ellis - keyboards (on several tracks) Norman Emerson - drums & percussion (on a few tracks) Martin Holder - guitars (on 10 & 14); piano (on 14) Spook - sax (on 11 & 13) Produced, engineered, & mastered by T. Jones & T. B. at "Stone Premonitions".
Prologue. Sorry, my dear brothers and sisters in Prog-reason! What I can write here if I have never heard of Terry B before?
The Album. I guess that the first four tracks on the album were placed 'at the head' of it with the expectation of peculiarities of those music lovers that are used to purchase any CDs direct in a store. (It's beyond all understanding that most (!) of the music lovers reach a decision about buying or refusing a CD after listening to a couple of the first songs on it!) On the whole, however, Terry B's "Wrap Me In Your Skin" is quite a 'sly' album. True, all three of the tracks that follow a short and plain, yet, quite an attractive instrumental piece The Spell (1), filled with charming vocalizes, are nothing more than pretty ballad-like songs with just a bit Prog-tinged instrumentation. Although Wrap Me In Your Skin and Listen (5 & 6), as well as We Are One & Hector (11 & 13), are also instantly accessible songs, they're at the same time feature some magic. Especially hypnotic are the vocals of Terry B who turned out to B a brilliant singer-chameleon with simply incredible possibilities. (Before, I haven't heard any female vocalist who would be able to sing so diversely and change a voice so easily as it does the heroine of this review.) Tracks 5 & 6 are marked with the beginning of the continuous transformation of her wonderful vocal into a wide variety of different voices, such as low and high, angelic and demonic, childish and senile, and even male (all of which were overdubbed, of course). With words however, it is impossible to depict all the shades of Terry B's vocal palette, as it is so marvelously rich that must be heard to get into. Beginning with the same Wrap Me In Your Skin, and Listen, the quality of music constantly grows as well - right up to its peak on track 12 (which I'll describe later). The instrumental arrangements that are predominant on all four of the aforementioned tracks represent mostly slow interplay between passages of piano, synthesizer, and classical guitar and solos of bass, electric and acoustic guitars, and sax. (By the way, the phrase "mostly slow arrangements" is in some ways applicable to the album as a whole.) Surprisingly, on these and most of the further tracks on the album, there is either a real drumming or play on real percussion instruments instead of a drum-machine that bossed (around) the drumming works on the first three songs on the album. All four of the following compositions, Sandalaphon, Girl Power, Menage a Trois, Floating (7 to 10), and also Baird My Soul (12), are by all means the core of this album. Sandalaphon and Floating (7 & 10) are the instrumental pieces. The first of them is a benefit performance of electric guitar, the varied, high-speed and fluid, yet always virtuosi and tasteful solos of which interplay here with solos of bass guitar (that, by the way, are outstanding throughout the album) and passages of piano and synthesizer. This flows nicely with the accompaniment of a real and very diverse drumming. The second instrumental is of a more quiet nature, though it is slightly richer in sound than its predecessor. Only the solos of acoustic guitar and hand percussion, both of which have a slight Latin-American feel to them, were performed mid-tempo here. However, while all the other interplay here, such as those between passages of acoustic guitar, piano, and synthesizer, are slow, they're tasteful and aren't that simple as it can seem at the first listen to them. Once again, the same words are applicable to most of those compositions that are in the core of this album (7 to 10, & 12). Girl Power (8), should've been, in my view, titled as Enchantress's Power. This unique composition, on which ethnic percussion instruments play a significant role as well, most of all reminds me of some of one African or Latin-American ritual song. The next song, Menage a Trois (9), is also marked with a lot of solos of hand percussion and various interplay between very original passages of synthesizer and solos of electric and bass guitars. Filled with wonderful flavors of music of East, this song is simply fantastic. Surprisingly, the stylistics of the best composition on this album, B
Summary. In fact, I wonder what need there was to include Ephemeral Fire in this album in general. The same words, though, I can say about all four of the first tracks on it (perhaps, with the exception of the very first instrumental). I don't give a damn for any commercial purposes, so I will listen to this album after excluding tracks 2, 3, 4, & 14 while programming the CD. Nevertheless, one the whole, Terry B's (Bee's?) "Wrap Me In Your Skin" is an original and in many ways unique album. Although you can find it a very accessible album at the first listen to it, don't believe your ears. It needs to be listened a few times to comprehend it fully. Of course, saying so, I imply the programmed (46-minute) version of the album, which, as a whole, lasts more than an hour.
VM. September 6, 2002
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