Being the voice of Blackmore's Night and the spouse of the former Deep Purple and Rainbow guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, singer Candice Night acquired a place in the music industry. She really deserves this because her vocal abilities are high-levelled. Maybe her role alongside her husband in Blackmore's Night wasn't enough to show all of her talents. Perhaps that's one of the reasons she recorded her first solo album Reflections. This album was already presented in 2011, but I guess it didn't get a worldwide release then. People who just like me missed the album then, will now get a second chance to find out what Candice Night is capable of on her own.
After listening to the album it seems to me that she still doesn't know which musical direction she wants to go. I think she loves all kind of genres since the album mostly contains a mixture of songs influenced by different musical styles like pop, folk, rock, classical music and epic songs. You might wonder why such an album is reviewed on a website dedicated to progressive rock music and related styles. Well, those related styles in particular are the reason why this debut album gets a review. Take for example the opening tune Wind Is Calling (Hush The Wind) or songs as Black Roses and Now And Then (2011). These contain beautiful keyboard parts that will be appreciated by many prog heads. Moreover, the songs have much to offer. The fairy-like atmosphere on Black Roses and Now And Then (2011) is quite similar to the atmosphere we usually associate with Blackmore's Night. This style is closely related to progressive rock and therefore enjoyed by many of their followers.
However, the album contains also tracks you'll play only once like the single Gone, Gone, Gone which is a perfect, catchy and poppy rock song. With a slightly different arrangement Dangerous Smile could either have hit the charts if it would have been sung by a pop star. The strongly Celtic influenced track For You with hints of classical music, is undoubtedly of a higher level. Robin Red Breast is a nice song as well; it's a sweet ballad dominated by an acoustic guitar and Candice's vocals. In Alone With Fate a violin played by Elizabeth Cary is the leading instrument. Together with the medieval sounding song In Time it closes the album. While listening to the latter track I got the idea of the way gypsies entertain an audience with fine music.
The debut album of Candice Night shows the musical reflections she had over the years. Most songs are rather laid back though, just to allow her voice to shine to the full. The main instruments to give these songs a sound are the keyboards probably played by herself, since she is a multi-instrumentalist after all. Unfortunately the CD booklet only contains lyrics and pictures of Candice. There's no information about the musicians who contributed to the songs except for violinist Elizabeth Cary. Reflections will not only delight fans of Blackmore's Night, but also people who like simple pop tunes, gypsy music and − believe it or not − progressive rock related songs. However, on Candice Night's next solo album I would like to hear more adventurous music. Maybe she should ask Ritchie to perform some outstanding electric guitar solos...
**+ Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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