1 Voice

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From country to goth rock to Mexican banda, most types of music are dominated by vocalists; instrumentalists are as much of a minority in reggae and R&B as they are in Algerian rai music. But there are exceptions to that rule -- and new age, like jazz, is an area in which instrumentalists are dominant and vocalists are the minority. Nonetheless, singers have made some noteworthy contributions to new age; Enya is the most famous example, and other new age-friendly vocalists have included Amy Sapp, Juliana, Anael and Pia. A name to add to that list is Seay, who brings an interesting variety of influences to 1 Voice -- influences ranging from Enya to Annie Lennox (who was the lead singer for the Eurythmics before she became a full-time solo artist). Lennox was never new age in the strict sense -- she came out of new wave and synth pop in the early '80s but had definite R&B influences -- and she isn't a huge influence on Seay's songwriting. But Lennox's vocal style has influenced Seay's phrasing as a vocalist, whereas Seay's songwriting owes a lot more to Enya. Seay, however, isn't an imitator of Enya or anyone else, and she demonstrates that she is her own person on this airy, ethereal, placid, caressing effort. She also demonstrates that she has a healthy appreciation of world music, incorporating elements of Celtic, African, and Indian music. Nothing aggressive or forceful takes place on this 2005 release, which aims to soothe but not in a mindless way. 1 Voice isn't quite as consistent as it could have been, but creatively, there are more hits than misses on this enjoyable, if slightly uneven, disc.

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