12 Songs, 44 Minutes

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Ratings and Reviews

5.0 out of 5
22 Ratings

22 Ratings

Restless Pilgrim ,

Here’s a hint, it’s pretty darn amazing!

The title of the album comes from a line in a TS Elliot poem, The Four Quartets, which speaks about the glimpses we get of something beautiful and awe-inspiring, but which hasn't yet been fully revealed. In an interview on her YouTube channel, Alanna compared it to seeing the early morning sunlight before the sun itself has risen, explaining it as "the sense of home-sickness that you can't really describe". These are themes to which a restless pilgrim like me can certainly relate!

All the songs on the new album are equally replete with proverbial wisdom. For example, in the opening track "Davey", we hear the following lines:

"Everything that's terrible is something that needs love
and anyone who's hurt you has been hurt
and nobody is as evil as they seem to be
but hatred surely makes them worse"

Spot on, right?

Over the past few years, I have become a fan of quite a few musicians on YouTube, eagerly awaiting each new video/song on their YouTube channel. Unfortunately, on more than one occasion, when the artist has released a studio album, I've been rather disappointed. This has typically been because I've felt the long-awaited album was over-produced and over-orchestrated. Having been captivated by the artist's music in simplicity, I've felt that something was lost upon entering the recording studio. However, I'm extremely pleased to say that this isn't the case with "Hints & Guesses".

Some of the songs remain fairly unadorned. "Dappled things", for example, has very simple instrumentation, with Alanna mostly being accompanied by the sound of birds in a field, rather like Mary Poppins :-) . In contrast, other songs have have quite a bit of ornamentation, but each time it is done with an extremely delicate hand. A perfect example of the well-crafted orchestration is the song "I'll be your woman", which starts with vocals and a few simple, isolated chords on a piano. Bit-by-bit the accompaniment is filled out, culminating in a wonderful Jazz trumpet solo which made this former trumpeter extremely happy :-)

This weekend I drove up to Riverside with my friend Carrie and we listened to Alanna's album on the drive. On more than one occasion Carrie would ask if we were now listening to a different album and artist. She said this because of the broad range of musical genres which are found across the album. As you listen, you hear a wide range of influences: 50's doo-wop, celtic etc., yet Alanna somehow manages to take elements from these different styles but still somehow manages to produce a sound that is very much her own.

ChildrensWriter ,

Alanna-Marie Sound is Fresh and Captivating

I love discovering new artists who bring a fresh and beautiful sound to all that they do; this is certainly such a performer. I could listen to her many of her tracks all day. There’s also a an appealing depth to her songwriting that’s refreshing. I look forward to fresh musical creations from this young artist in the future.

Kgaug ,

I'm a fan

Young artist with a strong album. Unique voice and refreshing simplicity. Well put together but not overly produced. Just a great musical offering with something for everyone. Check it out, you'll be glad that you did.

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