There’s no doubt that Jillian Aversa is one of the most popular new artists in our genre. Jillian’s vocal combined with Andrew Aversa’s synth arrangement have so far given us three albums (a few more if you count their other projects – see list here). This year’s release is called Atlantis Awakening, and it shows that Jillian is growing as an artist – yet staying true to the style we first heard on her debut album, Origins (2008).
The fact that Jillian hoped to raise $ 5.000 on Kickstarter.com for this album, and ended up raising almost $ 26.000 is a statement of her popularity. It is not all because of her solo albums though; many will recognize her voice from major games such as Halo, God of War: Ghost of Sparta and Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword.
With a classically trained vocal like Jillian’s, there’s always a chance for over-production; New Age music usually sounds better with a less-than-perfect vocal, which Enya is the best example of. It is not about perfect pitch, but atmosphere. Jillian’s style though is just right for her vocal and material. This time around she is even more personal:
Atlantis Awakening is a true concept album with both a literal story (a woman experiencing visions of the lost world) and a metaphorical meaning (her search for truth in a sea of doubt). Over the past five years, there have been many times I felt ready to give up on this project… not for lack of inspiration, but rather I was afraid of the truths I might uncover about myself in the process. It’s a scary place to be, but at some point, we all must face the unknown.
The first track on Atlantis Awakening is Aletheia. It has a larger-than-life-feel with an ethnic touch, and is a great album opener. Next out is Diving Bell. Its warm yet mysterious atmosphere is breathtaking and a perfect example on Jillian’s unique, enigmatic style.
Atlantis Awakening has a great overall design. The songs You and I, Generations (Forest Temple) and Will O’ the Wisp all have a great flow. It must be said that Jillian is not doing everything herself. Some other very talented artists also contribute to the album; we have already mentioned Jillian’s husband, Andrew Aversa. On two of the songs we get to hear Philadelphia Boys Choir & Men’s Chorale, and Sandro Friedrich on Duduk. The cover artwork, done by Aurora Wienhold, is also great.
It is easy to sense that the theme for the concept album was challenging. Great art though is always demanding. Atlantis Awakening is in every way a wonderful release, and statement that Jillian Aversa is well on her way to becoming an a-list New Age music artist.
Score: 94/100 – See how I rate music here
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