CARY GRACE – Lady Of Turquoise

2020

Freedom is a cunning trap: unpredictable enchantress charts a dark course – and casts a welcome curse – through space, spasm and time.

CARY GRACE –
Lady Of Turquoise

Meeting Cary Grace’s new persona every time she releases a record doesn’t make her fans’ life easier, yet such encounters give following her path an air of excitement – or, perhaps, a guilty pleasure. Lately, this artist’s act became exotic and erotic enough to elevate Grace to the “High Priestess of Whatever” status, and “Lady Of Turquoise” is an expanse of her progressive multiverse, as the album’s two discs offer a gloomy voyage towards ancient wisdom which all of us hide in our heart, while denying its very existence and leaving it for Cary to reveal, recognize and turn into a tune. The results may border on meditative, albeit not barely-there, or have words attached to ever-shifting melodies, but submerging the listener in majestic passages that are in abundance here should cleanse one’s psyche on transcendental level.

Starting with the chthonic, if rapturous, throb of “Khepera At The Dawn” and bringing the journey to a close with a vibrantli trippy title track, Grace marries menace to expectancy, so meandering guitars and otherworldly synthesizers serve as both mood-setters and momentum-drivers, whereas mesmeric mantras like “Letterbox” won’t shy away from solidifying their acoustic strum and propelling riffs to the fore, for Cary’s voice to reverberate across these sonic mysteries. Her vocals seem to embrace classic balladry on the sax-smeared “Film Noir” whose simmering romanticism is scary, the folksy “Memory” and on the velvet “Without A Trace” whose poignant piano is worth the price of admission alone, only to let waths of drone take over the drift and paint the largely spoken “Afterglow” in sinister, stormy tones.

Still, perceiving this opus as a monochrome endeavor would be wrong, despite the bleak ebb of “Moonflowers (Fade To Black)” which feels histrionic, what with “Costume Jewellery” – its 12-minute centerpiece – wrapping a richly detailed aural swirl in raga rags, and the dance-minded “Sacrifice” unfolding a cosmic ritual that everyone’s can participate in… as either a victim or a wielder of the blade. More so, the tripartite “Castle Of Dreams” taps into discotheque sort of delight before dissolving in graceful stasis, an eye of the record’s slow-mo hurricane. Like an Oz-headed cyclone, “Lady Of Turquoise” has delivered Cary to the land of her own, and – "Covers" being a red herring – she’s finally arrived as an artist to reckon with.

****4/5

February 2, 2020

Category(s): Reviews
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