Fiona Joy’s new album “Story of Ghosts” is not about ghosts in a conventional sense. Yet each of the 10 songs have a vibe of something undefined and secretive, right under the surface. There is an energy here that cannot be ignored. This unexplained presence makes “Story of Ghosts” into a highly enjoyable listen, and a fantastic addition to Fiona Joy’s already strong discography.
Fiona Joy is a pianist, composer and singer. She is called The Piano Angel in China and is a member of the New Age Super-group FLOW. Fiona had a song on a Grammy Winning album in 2015, won two categories in the Independent Music Awards 2016, works with Australian piano maker Stuart and Sons and also records in Audiophile forms with Blue Coast Records.
A collection of short stories
“Song for Dunnie” is the title of the first track. The album is on to a wonderful start. It is a positive and playful song, and Fiona’s dynamical playing brings it to life. It has such a warm, welcoming sound. There’s much love here. Next track is “Story of Angels”. The first you’ll notice is how the atmosphere has changed from the first track. There is a presence, something you cannot see but feel. It is a beautiful portrait of an angel. Gently it comes into view, illuminated from above. It is a story that can be enjoyed again and again.
Enjoy this episode of Piano Magic/New Age Stars Radio dedicated to Story of Ghosts
Marvelous “Blue Dream”
“Contemplating” is, as the title implies, a thoughtful song. I love how the melody effortlessly jumps from one segment to the other, like a constant stream of thoughts and emotions. Then we get a most welcome solo piano re-recording of one of Fiona’s all time best melodies: “Blue Dream” – the title track from her 2006 album. The song is nothing short of a masterpiece, and it fits beautifully here too. The lack of synth backing makes it sound more bare and fragile, like a dream that is almost fading away. It is beautiful beyond word, and a treat to her many fans.
My favorite track on the album is “The Solo Tango”. The song moves. You can sense a lot of emotions here, perhaps even resentment. It has a wonderful flow and a nice balance of low and high notes. It is a very colorful song. “The white light” feels like a prelude to the title track. The light may be white, but the atmosphere is dark. The song shows how dynamic Fiona’s playing is, and her abilities to create interesting and poetical piano melodies.
Story of Ghosts
“Story of Ghosts” is a track that defines the whole album. This is not a story of scary ghosts, or friendly ghosts for that matter (which perhaps the slime-green cover image might imply). A ghost in this context is someone who is just not there, like a shadow or reflection. It is the feeling you get when looking into an empty room. This emotion is brilliantly communicated on “Story of Ghosts”. The atmosphere gets lighter on “Twilight”, which is good, because we to keep that positive vibe while listening to the next song; “Story of Insanity”. It is a very powerful song, like the piano is screaming. But luckily it is not to last.
“Before the Light” is a perfect album closer. Indeed, I think it is a small masterpiece! I could listen to it all day. The atmosphere is positive and upbeat, yet there’s room for reflection too – especially near the end.
We already knew the Fiona was a great storyteller in music, but with “Stories of Ghosts” she has taken it one step further. The album is like a collection of deeply poetical short stories. For the conclusion of this review I’m tempted to use a Stephen King quote: “We need ghost stories because we, in fact, are the ghosts.” This quote seems even more true when talking about Fiona Joy’s “Story of Ghosts”. In music, and in life, there are certain energies that cannot be explained. This makes Fiona’s latest album incredibly interesting on many levels.
Score: 95/100 – See how I rate music here
For music samples, check out Fiona Joy’s homepage
The SACD version of this album will be released in about a months time – you can pre-purchase it here or buy downloads; BUY/Listen – STORY OF GHOSTS