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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Review: 9 Muses - Feel To Heal

9 Muses - Feel To Heal
2008, Blue Amazon

9 Muses is an artist shrouded in mystery. No web sites, no interviews or articles online. There’s a vague reference to Utah out there on the World Wide Weird, but nothing concrete. Lacking any other support, we’ll just have to rely on the music to speak for 9 muses. Up today is her debut album, 2008's Feel To Heal.

Feel To Heal opens with the mellow, ethereal trance of Cool Water. The ghost-like vocal line makes for a pleasant listen, but the track is not overly memorable. The Moon Told Me is based on a feeling of destiny; the meeting of someone you've always known and just recognized. The easy feel of the arrangement is belied by a sense of urgency that creeps into the song in general and the vocal in particular. In My Arms is a melancholy celebration of a meeting come; perhaps an prologue to The Moon Told Me. The energy and excitement you would imagine based on the subject matter never quite materializes. Just To Dance With You is a song of hope and longing with an intro that's rooted in 1990's New Age/relaxation recordings like Angel Love. This one is a little too polished for its own good. The song itself is decent, but with all rough edges smoothed away it loses whatever character it might have had.

The Man That Never Was is an interesting tune about a dream lover who ruins all earthly experience of love. The energy here still falls short of the angst and aura you might expect. This tune wants to break out and be more before it stalls, but you can tell there's a lot more inside the song than is brought out here. Feel To Heal fades away beginning with Master Mind, a bit of pop psychology pseudo-wisdom wrapped in a simplistic melody and script. Somnolence follows on Feel To Heal, Bruised Tears and Fynrien's Dream as 9 Muses whispers goodnight.

Some artists write to find their sound while others declare their sound and write to those limitations. 9 Muses is of the latter variety, drawing boundaries around her sound and limiting expression inside the proscribed arc. The result is an alternately pleasant and conflicted album that wants to be more and range wider than 9 Muses is willing to venture. Ambient sound is great, but Ambient and energy are not meant to be divorced from one another. There are several songs on Feel To Heal that are potentially vibrant, but that potential is never fully realized on Feel To Heal. 9 Muses has a pleasant enough voice and fans of Ambient Pop may well enjoy the Feel To Heal, but the album just never fully gets off the ground.

Rating: 2.5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can purchase Feel To Heal as either a CD or Download from

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