Donna De Lory


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Though best known as one of Madonna's backup singers, Donna De Lory has a sound that could not be further from the Material Girl's brand of electronic-infused pop. With a breathy voice that falls somewhere between a more lightweight Kate Bush and a more mystically inclined Tori Amos, De Lory's blend of adult contemporary pop and world music influences wouldn't sound out of place on Peter Gabriel's fusion-friendly Real World label. It's an approach that works well, but it's best in small doses. The opening "On and On" sets the mood, with its sultry Middle Eastern percussion and atmospheric synths lending a sensual feel, while "Hold Me Now" provides contrast, with throbbing African rhythms and a funky vibe that allows De Lory to showcase her usually reserved vocal skills. Sadly, after the cello-laden beauty of "Only Time" and the haunting minor-key trip-hop of "Go Talk to Mary," the last half of the album gets mired in a series of down-tempo ballads, slowing the momentum to a crawl. It's a perfect Sunday morning album -- fine for lazing about in bed with the one you love. But if your mood doesn't match the one Bliss tries so hard to establish, expect to grow bored about a half-hour in.

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