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Highlights: Separated By Glass, Our Love, Mechanical Lives, Blank Canvas
Silver Screen is the debut album from light lilted soprano, Hayley Griffiths, emerging from her success starring in the Riverdance and Lord of the Dance world tours. Griffiths' album demonstrates a fine mix of celtic, new age and pop influence but little of classical. Even so, she has a distinguished sound due to her Celtic Woman/Trinití-esque production, embarking on electronic layering balanced by authentic instruments and her clean unaffected soprano.
The album title was plucked out due to the Hollywood inspired tracks. All original and co-written by Griffiths, the songs are executed with the big screen in mind. Leading single, 'Separated By Glass', pays tribute to P.S. I Love You whilst the sound of the silver screen is literally brought back to life in the concluding track 'Silent as the End', featuring the dramatic scoring one expects to hear from the black and white era. Like Hollywood itself, the general sound of the album is overblown with larger than life arrangements; there's a lot going on in each track, but Griffiths' performance effortlessly glides over the music, providing the audience with her crystal clear vocal and dead-on-point diction.
Griffiths' wide breadth of creativity is evident in the distinguishable sound of each track. Different ideas are presented to the audience in every song and the lyrical topics are also diverse, which are always reinforced by the music and melodies. Although no individual song displays lyrical originality it's still quite refreshing to hear the album as a whole. The bouncy 'Blank Canvas', asks its listener many philosophical and rhetorical questions whilst the instantly catchy 'Mechanical Lives' advises us to break out of our everyday routines. Other songs such as 'Our Love' (the possible highlight of the album) is your standard love song for those hopeless romantics and 'Haunted' is a tale of anger and revenge.
There are not any weak moments on this album, but due to their differentiating sounds, each track is likely to be hit or miss for the individual listeners' tastes. The only real issue with Silver Screen is that it could do with a few more tracks. The songs are unusually short and snappy and with only ten songs (excluding the introductory track 'Prelude') the album clocks in at a timid 34 minutes. If, however, quality is more important to you than quantity, Silver Screen is a rare treat of vibrant soundscapes, set to take you on a rich (albeit short) journey of varied crossover material. If Josh Groban, Tiffany Desrosiers, Celtic Woman, Trinití or Sarah Brightman tick your boxes you are unlikely to go wrong with this purchase.
3. What is a Champion?
4. Our Love
5. Wait For the Sun
7. Mechanical Lives
8. Blank Canvas
9. Separated By Glass
10. Is This a Dream
11. Silent as the End