Christina - The Light,
For progheads in the know, mention just the single word ‘Christina’, and everyone is aware that the person under discussion is Christina Booth, frontwoman of Magenta since their inception in 2001. This was her second solo album, released nearly three years ago now, but I have only just come across it. Joining her on this musical odyssey was Rob Reed on keyboards, guitar and bass (with whom she has worked with for many years, all the way back to Cyan), Andy Edwards (Magenta, drums) and Chris Fry (guitar) along with Fran Murphy (backing vocals), Dan Nelsen (fretless bass), John Mitchell (It Bites/Arena, guitar, vocals), Andy Tillison (PO90/The Tangent etc., organ) and Theo Travis (saxophone, flute).
Although she has surrounded herself with musicians she knows and trusts, this album isn’t an out and prog album, although it does contain progressive elements and could, just, be considered as crossover, but rather is an album that is based around her voice and reflective songs that show her restraint and control to best effect. Although I have known her through band albums, I haven’t heard her other solo work, but can see that I am now going to have to search it out as this is a delicate and beautiful piece of work. There ae times when it is just her and a piano, and the use of a fretless bass is a great touch as the warmth given by that instrument works perfectly with the feel. Most singers feel the need to be forceful and overtly in the listener’s ears and face, but here Christina is singing wonderfully, with emotional songs that fit her voice perfectly, while the arrangements are also doing all they can not to take away from the, at times, waif-like quality of her voice.
That it has taken me three years to come across this is very much my loss, and I hope to hear more from this wonderful singer in the near future.