Release Date: November 25th, 2022
This will be the seventh release I have listened to and covered by Michele McLaughlin. I had not given it any thought, but she must be the most frequent artist I have had the pleasure of hearing since 2015. Luminous, based on the first glance of the album art, gives the impression of something spiritual coming right from the soul. It is a commonplace for this artist, however.
Her solo piano works are portraits of a grounded individual with the innate ability to speak to listeners through music.
Michele said this about the new release:
This is a special edition album written and created using a softer and more delicate playing style by utilizing some of the more expressive features of my piano in order to change the tone and timbre of the sound and to illuminate the more expressive aspects of how it can be played. In doing so, I was able to immerse myself into a softer and quieter style of writing to compliment the changing elements of my beautiful piano. The music on this album is themed around different aspects of light and dark.
And indeed, that does put it all into proper perspective. You will feel the sadness of "When You Hurt, I Hurt," and the ever-changing colors of the bright "Kaleidoscope" will lift your spirits. Thus, the experiential journey through the dark and the light. And masterfully depicted may I add. I am not surprised by this in the least. Michele has been one of the most consistent and on-point artists I have enjoyed.
This year, more than any previous, I have heard more sadness in the music. I am sensitive to what is happening worldwide, which certainly has much to do with my perception. I am not mistaken, however, as many artists have released "pandemic" themed recordings. The many pressing issues we now face on our planet reflect our times. Hence the music that you will hear will envelop your consciousness. Even though there is that element of sadness, we can always find hope and healing in this talented individual's simplistic beauty.
With Luminous, you will find the light inside just like Michele did. She offers you that doorway to where it is and helps you realize that music is just a tool to get there. We all have it inside, and some of our light has been extinguished by life events over the last three years that changed us forever. I feel blessed that I have not got sick, lost anyone, and kept my job. That doesn't mean I don't feel the world's pain daily and realize my mortality with each passing year. It makes me very concerned and sad.
Hearing Michele making her way through these ten tracks of instrumental contemporary grace and beauty puts a different perspective on everything. And honestly, that is the goal of any artist, so mission accomplished once again, Michele!
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
November 1, 2022
01. Droplets of Grey 5:06
02. When You Hurt, I Hurt 5:12
03. Kaleidoscope 3:56
04. Shimmer 3:20
05. Moonlit Shadows 2:59
06. The Golden Hour 3:43
07. Luminous 3:09
08. Fireflies 3:37
09. Adrift 2:22
10. Lanterns In The Sky 3:40