Sun Palace

Into Heaven

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Sun Palace is to singer/songwriter Andriette Redmann what Maze is to Frankie Beverly. In other words, Sun Palace is Redmann's baby -- Redmann is Sun Palace (just as Beverly is Maze), and everything on the band's debut album, Into Heaven, reflects her thoughts, vision, and personality. Redmann takes a very hands-on approach on this CD; in addition to producing Into Heaven with guitarist John D. Rokosny, she wrote almost all of the material herself. And her songs favor a very ethereal, dreamy, folk-influenced approach to alternative pop/rock. Redmann's lyrics tend to be introspective and spiritual; no one will accuse her of inundating listeners with the sort of angst and anger that has characterized so much alternative pop/rock of the '90s and early 2000s. In fact, she is the opposite of angst-ridden -- if anything, Redmann comes across as an alternative pop/rock version of the congenial Enya on melodic, accessible offerings like "There Was Once a Time," "Are You Thinking of Me," and "Path of Heart" (which has a slight Middle Eastern flavor). Equally laid-back is Sun Palace's cover of Jethro Tull's "Skating Away on the Thin Ice of the New Day," which is the only track that Redmann didn't write. Like Beth Orton and new age favorite Enya -- and like many of the alternative pop-rockers who have come out of the dream pop/shoegazer field -- Redmann is the sort of artist who would rather float than rock aggressively. But those who look past Into Heaven's pretty surface will find that the CD has a lot of meat on its bones; Redmann's emotions run deep on this very likable debut.

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