AOM Logo January 2000

Chantal Kreviazuk, Colour Moving And Still

Columbia (Sony Music)
Playing Time: 41:06
Limited Edition Bonus CD
Playing Time: 11:59

D. Malcolm Fairbrother

Chantal Kreviazuk's first CD, Under These Rocks And Stones, commended by the critics and mildly embraced by commercial success, was a strong enough debut to warrant the inclusion of one of her interpretations, the late John Denver's Leaving on a Jet Plane, on the soundtrack of the film, Armageddon. A second song, the Randy Newman penned Feels Like Home, was her contribution to the sound track of the very successful television series, Dawson's Creek. These two songs, along with her interpretation of the Beatles' classic, In My Life are included as a bonus CD with Ms Kreviazuk's follow-up collection of emotionally-charged, powerfully delivered self-penned tunes, the aptly titled Colour Moving And Still. As beautifully crafted as her interpretations of the works of others are (and each of these songs in no way diminishes the original material nor pales in their presence) it is the main body of the opus that possesses the power and scope of an artist who has the ability to astonish even the most hard-hearted of critics.

Ms Kreviazuk has been described, not without a hint of accuracy, as filtering the raw anger and the honesty of Alanis Morissette through the mysticism and sensibilities of Sarah McLachlan. To leave it there would be an unjust demeaning of the originality of this impressive artist. Colour Moving And Still opens with Blue, a simple lyric that is sung by Ms. Kreviazuk with an impressive range as she moves from the evocatively wistful to the compellingly forceful, creating a powerful emotional intensity that reveals her to be an artist as well as a singer. The superlative structure and delivery of this song is characteristic of most of the pieces on this CD, as the artist colours each work with uniqueness, her vocals now moving, now still, always passionate. The unique execution of a song as intensely personal as Until We Die shows Kreviazuk to be in full command of her craft and her material as she strings together a succession of exquisite gems.

Astute marketing dictates that a single is released in concomitance with a new CD to expose the purchasing public to the event and to stimulate sales. Before You is such a release; the song gyrates commercially, strutting along a fine line between the cloying cuteness of Edie Brickell and the affirmation of the power of love that it strives to be. Make no mistake: Ms Kreviazuk has created an entity wherein each song contributes to the overall effect of the totality of her artistic vision; she does not see herself as a singles artist, nor does she envision Colour Moving And Still as anything less than a seamless sum of its individual components. That is the reason for the inclusion of a bonus CD that contains songs, which, although valid on their own, would undermine the spirit of the main body of this opus.

Ms Kreviazuk has been allowed to pursue her personal vision by gazing inward and leaving it up to others, executives and marketers to eye the wider world of commercial success without sacrificing any of her originality. She has written to please herself, allowing others to choose travel with or without her. Those who savour pop music with integrity and individuality are advised to go the distance with this insightful yet palatable performer into the Millennium.

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