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Cheryl Gunn — The Sun at Midnight
(Earthtone ETD-7904, 1999, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2000-05-01

The Sun at Midnight Cover art

Liner notes which throw phrases around like “an immensely personal journey towards self-discovery” and “this powerful message of personal redemption” are all warning signs: Danger! New Age Bullshit Ahead! Look, I know there’s an audience for new-age music. I even like Enya, for crissakes. But for every Enya or Patrick O’Hearn, there are a dozen Cheryl Gunns and John Teshes around, peddling what are essentially sonic tranquilizers. This music is meant largely for a female audience as a means of striking an emotional chord while providing a calming and relaxing presence. Songs like “Au Par au Belum” and “Rab-Un-Naw” waltz along gently on tides of acoustic guitar, percussion, and Gunn’s willowy piano and drifting string synths, but there’s not a memorable melody to be found, nor any excitement or drama. The closest thing to any heat comes during the pipes and percussion display on “Venus over Skye,” but it is an isolated surge of life amongst a largely somnolent collection. Fans of Yanni or Secret Garden may find these pieces to their liking, but it’s all a bit too wrapped up in sweet sentimentality and “personal redemption” for me. Your mileage may vary.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 19, 1999 releases

Related artist(s): Cheryl Gunn

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