Emotional honesty is the common thread running through the many different issues and images that Kari Tauring expresses in her music. And that unifying factor is needed, as the range of topics varies greatly. There are aspects of the album Faith in Me that are nurturing, and others that are disturbing, sometimes included in the same song. For example, consider "Boundaries," a song about the right to say no to abuse. While some abuse survivors may find it empowering, with the refrain "you've gone too farr" others need to know that the song describes bruises forming on a child's arms and lips. They will need to decide for themselves if they are at a point in their healing processes where they can hear this without it triggering too strong an intensity of emotion. This song could also sound scary to young children. Contrast this with "Remember Me," a gentle, moving tribute to the Feminine Divine, inspired by Mother Mary. There will be those who love the one song, and who hasten to turn off the other, and who reacts to what will depend on individual background. Some Christians may have trouble with hearing Mary likened to the Triple Goddess, Maiden-Mother-Crone, of Pagan spirituality. Others will see that most belief systems do include an aspect of the Feminine Divine, and appreciate the parallels. As Tauring observes herself, on the album, it's a "Fine Line." "Mother, Mate, Myself" contains the image of a "doll's head rolling 'cross the floor," which will probably not faze mothers whose kids are in the take-it-apart stage at all, as reassembling Dolly can become a very familiar task. Still, it's somewhat of a disquieting note in an otherwise gentle little song about nurturing. Be aware it's there, and perhaps sample the MP3 at http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/40/kari_tauring.html to decide if you feel comfortable with it. There are tracks on here that are laid-back feel-good songs like "Day in Bed" or slice of life tales like "Iron Will," about the attraction of an exotic guy with "hair the color of emeralds" that the singer wishes would stay. So Tauring shows she can kick back and have fun, too. Some listeners may prefer these lighter, more upbeat songs; others may be drawn to Tauring's more serious side. Because some of her material is potentially controversial, one possible option for Tauring to consider might be the release of several EPs, on different themes. That way, if, say, a mother loved "Shadows and Light" but did not want her children listening to "Drink You Up (Vampire Song)," that woman would have the option of getting a sampler with the one, but not including the other. Releasing sampler EPs is an ongoing trend on MP3.com, and the increased flexibility of providing listeners more ways to try the music might benefit Tauring, since her song topics are so varied. That way, instead of a listener deciding "I can't buy that album, it has X on it!," they'd have the chance to get their favorite, Y, on a separate EP. Divide and conquer. Or at least, build the market share. In all, Tauring is able to take on many disparate topics and handle them clearly and originally. Her fans will definitely want this album to go along with A Yuletide Celebration.
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