Hear The Track HereOne of my oldest friends on the internet is Chris Vaisvil (aka Chris and The Clones) who contacted me lately about hearing this album produced, I think, for a friend of his. As I say, Chris is an old friend from what? 1994? 1995? We were both MOD musicians working through Usenet MOD newsgroups in those days and Chris has his own share of startup tales, but I've always known he has a good pair of ears. Which is why we're here with Celestine who is originally from the Philippines, married to her producer/musician Michael B, who wrote and performed (presumably) all the music. Celestine lists The Carpenters as an influence and that is certainly what Everything's Alright and I Wonder (tracks one and two) sounds most like, with I Wonder having the edge.
Be aware that we are discussing what can only be called emotional ballads and you know I have a phobia about those, not mention Celestine being a Christian Rock artist. Nonetheless, on a more objective level, Celestine has a terrific voice; warm, clear which is obviously tailor made for this kind of material. Second Chance is the first overtly Christian track, a string laden, almost prog-rock arrangement aided enormously by the confident manner Celestine handles the lyrics. Believability, my friends, that's the key and Second Chance shows that this lady has that. No Need To Worry and I Searched Heaven are natural follow-ons. Transparent, the title track, is much more the kind of track I look for; a killer song, a neat arrangement and a vocal to die for. My particular favourite.
He Took It All features acoustics and what sounds like a piano accordion, whereas Keep On Going (God Cares) goes for the whole orchestral enchilada, showing that although the general tone of the album may be slow, the level of musical diversity certainly isn't. Now I'd be lying through my aged teeth if I said I was totally into this. It's all a bit too mainstream for my own personal taste, and I don't do ballads - another big minus. However, I know there is a huge audience for this kind of material and out of all the tracks on Transparent, it's that title track that will really establish Celestine in the places that matter. If you like that, the rest of the excellently put together album will only reinforce that pleasure.
Highly Recommended collection of ballads, with a beautiful voice.