Title - 'Stronger Now'
Artist - Carol Albert
Healing is a process and there is no substitute for time. As we move through each phase, we grow stronger.
Carol Albert has been very open about her recovery from the unexpected loss of her husband in 2014, letting go on the soul-soothing album Fly Away Butterfly.
On the cover of her upcoming brand new album Stronger Now (due out January 31st, 2020), we quickly see that Carol’s radiant smile has indeed returned. Furthermore, the delicate, gossamer wings of a butterfly have evolved into powerful, feathery wings, mighty and capable of fending for herself while gracefully soaring to new heights. And that is exactly what the award-winning composer, pianist, keyboardist and vocalist does on the aptly-named Stronger Now, which she produced with two-time GRAMMY® winner Paul Brown and Lew Laing.
1. 'Stronger Now' (3:43)
2. 'Love Again' (4:03)
3. 'Perfect Sunday' (4:03)
4. 'For The Moment' (4:24)
5. 'Femme Flight' (Album Version) (4:25)
6. 'Winter Rain' (5:31)
7. 'Sun's Out' (Album Version) (3:55)
8. 'I Am Fine' (4:39)
9. 'Moon On The Water' (4:23)
10. 'Til We Meet Again' (5:27)
On the album opener, the empowered, soaring title track, Carol immediately makes her listeners aware she has begun moving forward and is now ready to embrace her ornately luxuriant and vibrant piano work once again.
Setting her emotional journey to music, it's been said that Carol wrote Stronger Now intimately journaling her period of refortification.
Indeed, throughout the ten-song set, Albert summons the courage to again feel joy, love and laughter balanced with healthy periods of reflection, solitude and introspection.
Tracks such as both the melodic, uplifting 'Love Again' and the fragrant Latin jazz escapade 'Perfect Sunday' (the latter inclusive of Lee Thornberg's horns) are pure, unadulterated joys to behold, and are backed seamlessly by both 'For The Moment' (which features Paul Brown on guitar), and my own personal favorite, the gently frenetic Latin jazz fusion of Carol's impassioned piano work (combined with flutist Ragan Whiteside and saxophonist Magdalena Chovancova) on 'Femme Flight' (Album Version).
The weighty sojourn of 'Winter Rain' showcases another side, another mood shall we say, of Carol's chosen art form, but she doesn't hang around there too long before she's bursting into the light once again on the revitalizing 'Sun’s Out.'
As if needing to calm people's nerves about how she is handling the passing of her late husband, up next is a recurring mantra to them in the form of the reassuring 'I Am Fine,' with a career defining piece of piano poetry up next within 'Moon On The Water.'
The album then rounds out with the ode to her late husband, the sanguine, hope-threaded 'Til We Meet Again,' which complete with Daniel Baraszu’s stirring acoustic guitar, elevates the track just enough for us to feel that Carol is closing that previously-performed chapter on this period of her life and is now welcoming the next.
Featuring: Paul Brown (guitar), Dan Baraszu (guitar), Lil John Roberts (drums), Jay Williams (drums), Sam Sims (bass), Ragan Whiteside (flute), Magdalena Chovancova (sax), Joseph Patrick Moore (bass), and many other talented musicians.
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Two years ago the American Carol Albert came up for the first time with the album "Fly Away Butterfly". Now this new album is coming out on January 31, 2020, with 10 original songs. In addition to Carol's piano work, you can hear Paul Brown on guitar (who also produced), Dan Baraszu on guitar, Lil John Roberts on drums, Jay Williams on drums, Sam Sims on bass, Ragan Whiteside on flute, Magdalena Chovancova on sax and Joseph Patrick Moore on bass. The title track leads us in the direction of smooth jazz, but with a poppy edge. Then comes the soft "Love again", and the beautiful, Brazilian-looking "Perfect Sunday". "For the Moment" continues quietly, and the Brazilian tinted "Femme Flight" has already been released as a single. "Winter Rain" is a soft song, followed by the second single, the Latin tinted "Sun’s out". Carol sings on ‘I Am Fine’ herself, while she plays modestly on ‘Moon on the Water’. Closer "Til We Meet again" is ushered in by an acoustic guitar, and floats to a strong rhythm. Carol has overcome the death of her husband, and has delivered a beautiful album, partly smooth jazz, partly poppy. Recommended!
Patrick Van de Wiele
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