Issued in 2007 on the 4AD label, THE BEST OF LISA GERRARD collects many of the finest tracks by the former Dead Can Dance vocalist/multi-instrumentalist. While the compilation includes a few tracks by that revered act, most notably the mystical "Yulunga (Spirit Dance)," a song that showcases Gerrard's striking voice, it primarily focuses on her solo work and film compositions, which both draw from music across the globe. On these pieces, Gerrard often collaborates with fellow Australian native Pieter Bourke, as on the passionate "Swans" and the expansive "Sacrifice," the latter from the INSIDER score. Although this anthology is a mere fraction of Gerrard's recorded output, it does serve as an excellent introduction to her impressive catalogue.
After the wrenching but rewarding Geek the Girl, Lisa Germano widens her focus and brightens her outlook on Excerpts From a Love Circus. Of course, Love Circus is a Lisa Germano album, but it's a slightly lighter take on her vulnerable, folky dream-pop: only she could make the refrain "Bruises, bruises, bruises" equally catchy and disturbing. As the title suggests, Excerpts From a Love Circus collects vignettes about hating the one you love and loving the one you hate; once again, Germano captures awkward, abstract feelings with her dreamy arrangements, hooky songwriting and unflinching lyrics. Passive-aggressive love songs like "I Love a Snot" sport flourishes like toy pianos and tablas, and incisive comments like "A Beautiful Schizophrenic"'s "I know you like my bad side/I love you like my good side." Germano's dark, self-effacing sense of humor surfaces on "Victoria's Secret," which answers the question "What is Victoria's Secret?" for once and all: "She says 'You are ugly/I am pretty/Your man wishes/You looked like me".
Immortal Memory is a collaboration between vocalist Lisa Gerrard and Irish composer Patrick Cassidy. Billed as a cycle of life and death and rebirth, Immortal Memory is better described as an orphaned film score. Cassidy's warm arrangements allow the former Dead Can Dance singer to step out of the dark medieval world that she's called home for nearly 20 years – though there is much of that world within these castle walls – and focus on the simplicity of love, faith, and loss with a grace that's bereft of the icy perfection of her previous work. Gerrard, whose voice has aged like the finest oak, displays an almost supernatural mastery of the material. Her effortless contralto wraps itself around the ten Gaelic, Latin, and Aramaic spirituals like an evening prayer, making each stunning entrance the equivalent of audio comfort food.
One listen to Lisa Gerrard's The Silver Tree (originally available only digitally, then as an Australia-only import, and finally, as a U.S. release) is enough to convince anybody – who isn't already convinced – that there's a very specific reason she has been courted by directors to compose soundtracks. There are 13 tracks here full of wispy ambient soundscapes, on top of which the former Dead Can Dance vocalist places her almost otherworldly gift of a voice. Sung nearly as prayers or meditative mantras, Gerrard employs monosyllabic glimpses of other languages – and occasionally English – to create her own tapestry of dreams. Some may be tempted to call this "new age" music, but it's so much more melancholy than much of what passes for that trash, and it's nearly sacred in its approach to articulation, creating the feeling in places ("Come Tenderness," "The Sea Whisperer," and "Abwoon," to name a few) that she is actually singing inside a cathedral. In other places, such as "Wandering Star" and "Serenity," her voice offers a drone approach that is as subtle – yet powerful – as her instrumentation.
Lisa Lynne is one of the top new age artists on the planet. It would be very difficult to recognize a more accomplished new age harpist. She combines traditional and ethnic instruments to allow subtle tribal overtones into her soundscapes. Her expert arrangements create lush and melodic atmospheres. Seasons of the Soul is perfect music for contemplating the self and for communing with God. Lynne's sensitivities for the subtleties of humanism are vivid and real. The sensuality of her sound design is smooth and warm. This environmental ambience is best when shared with a lover. This CD will appeal to all fans of good music. Comparisons to Hans Christian, Enya, Loreena McKennitt, and David Darling are valid. This is one of Lynne's better efforts. It is essential for all new age collectors.