Michele McLaughlin just released her latest studio album Sketches just a few days ago. These are musical sketches created on a blank canvas and improvised on the first take. That sounds like it was quite a challenge however I believe this talented lady would be ready for a challenge. One listen will advise you that she was.
Michele Commented: Several of the songs were completely improvised during the recording process for this album and several were inspired by my “Monday Morning Improvisations.”
I had previously enjoyed the last three releases from Michele and would anticipate nothing but excellence. To anticipate with music at times can end in disappointment but I must stress that has never happened with this artist. Michele is smooth, precise, and she articulates her compositions clearly and crisply which can easily reach a listener.
“One Life” caught me with just the name and then the music was absolutely beautiful and fitting. It filled me with gratitude for the life I have. It also made me ponder the possibilities of having more than one opportunity to have a physical presence here on earth. Possibilities, I love that word and what it means. Michele uses her imagination and digs down deep into her soul to create this spontaneous group of tracks she calls Sketches. Look at the many colors of the piano keys on the cover of the album and it gives you some insight into what she is presenting for her listening audience.
I am taken with the simplicity and clarity of all the tracks on Sketches. The emotion for instance on “The Right Choice,” is remarkably real and touching. Michele is so gifted to be able to release such an amazing recording, and the way it was done makes it that much more incredible. My appreciation for true art runs deep and this is something that moved me for all of the reasons I have mentioned.
I could never properly express in enough words the impact of such a recording as this. It humbles me and reminds me that what I do is my way of giving back to all the artists that share their talents and incredible music with us. I am one voice of hundreds that likely feel the same way about this music.
There is joy, beauty, and sadness that are all tied into this music. The human condition is no stranger to the accompaniment of music, it has gone on for centuries. There has to be something conveyed to a relatable audience. I know that this is more difficult when you are listening to music without words. If the music has enough power and emotion then any barriers will come down and the need for lyrics melts away as you, the listener, melt into every track, becoming one with the artist and the sounds being created.
The majesty of a track like “Lost,” cannot be understated. The piano says come listen to me now! This is how music paints a picture for you with a memorable impact.
The musical Sketches created by the artist then in your mind will come to life in seconds. This is a masterful display of musical virtuosity and undeniable talent. Michele McLaughlin reaches for the stars on this group of tracks and now you can find your star by just listening. She is indeed “Unshakeable” and always has been.
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews
December 8, 2020