Reviews

Light of Refinement
Unconditional
Language of the Soul
Spiritual Beings on a Human Journey
 
Spiritual Beings on a Human...

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Midwest Record Recap - Chris Spector
Forget about Clear Channel, this set will clear channel its way to the top of the charts at new age, women's and recovery book stores everywhere. With a lovely voice and poetry that goes well beyond affirmation pablum, Anael is a true alternative superstar. A really dazzling goddess lite collection, you don't need Oprah to tell you which way the wind is blowing here. The kind of genre set that surprises you by the way it turns up in so many places with seemingly so little being heard about it. Check it out.

The Best Female Musicians - Dennis Halsey
Anael's "Spiritual Beings on a Human Journey" is a New Age adventure into soul searching. While I can compare her voice to some extent to Lori Carson's, of "Golden Paliminos and solo fame, her message is much more optimistic. New Age is not a genre I am familiar with, but what I find when listening to this disc is it almost lifts you to another plane of existence. Anael explores the connection between our existence and what else is really out there. She is, as I said earlier, an eternal optimist, and finds the good and heavenly in everything. Her voice is soothing, lilting, and graceful, as is the entire album. Anael creates a blend of songs that are soothing and thought provoking. The highlight of the record is her near Angelic voice and her gift for storytelling backed by the perfect instrumentation. Fans of New Age music will be most impressed by what Anael accomplishes here and should certainly give her a listen.

Pro Critic Radio- Chris K.
When we talk about "alternative" today we all too often talk about that commercially accessible and popular music heard on radio, and not what the true alternative to commercial styles of music is. Anael exists beyond the limitations of what comprises popular music of any genre. Her's is the gift of understanding beyond the limits placed upon formulaic popular rock music. She is as influenced by Gregorian chants as she is Sarah McLaughlin's modern ambient folk rock, or Enya's symbolistic experimentations into new age rock. Anael is not limited by the language barriers, and therefore, the constructs that language imposes on the creation of music. She sings in English, Hebrew, Italian, Latin and French, her native tongue. Her lyricist / composer / producer counterpart, Bradfield, creates works of consciousness upon which Anael applies a galaxy of vocal colors and emotions. Watch for a new album of music this year from this world reknowned and respected pair ... in the meantime, there's music from each of the three previous albums here on MP3.com ... I'd suggest taking an evening and listening to all of them .. there really is not much better in the world or cyberworld, for that matter.

Visions Magazine - Steven Hewitt
"Spiritual Beings On A Human Journey" is the fourth CD by the Jonquiere, Quebec native known as Anael. Released by Apsis Music, Anael's "Spiritual Beings On A Human Journey" contains ten tracks and a bonus mp4 video of the song "Be Still Thy Soul".

Bradfield, Anael's partner continues to write exceptional songs for her to sing. The lyrics for his tracks are "to help raise the collective consciousness so that mankind might fullfill its true destiny and along the way, peace and prosperity among all nations." Utilizing the teachings of the Pleiadians his songs speak to the listener of life, love and forgiveness.

Comparable to such female vocalists as Enya, Sarah Brightman, Clannad's Maire Brennan and Miriam Stockley (listen to Anael's "Etre Sans Age"), Anael does possess her own unique sound and "careful listening reveals that aside from all sharing truly heavenly vocal chords and the ability to transport us with their music, only Anael seems interested in challenging us with mind-expanding lyrical themes."

My favorites on this ten track CD are "Till The Womb Gives Birth", "The Dawn Of An Age", "Ledodi", "Who You Are", "Trace", and my personal choice for the two best tracks "Etre Sans Age (You Belong)" and "They'll Come To Take You Home".

SorelTracy.com - Jean Doyon
Si vous êtes de ceux qui aiment bien la musique avec des voix féminines, une musique qui déborde de sensualité, de spiritualité, une musique-détente avec de bons arrangements, voici peut être ce que vous attendiez depuis longtemps.  Il y a quelques jours, j'ai reçu le 4e album d'une artiste qui m'étais jusqu'ici, inconnu, nommé Anael, et cet album a pour titre : Spiritual Beings on a Human Journey, qui est le 4e album en 6 ans d'Anael.

Difficile à classer, mais je dirais que cette musique-détente est d'un style Soft-Pop-Folk avec beaucoup d'arrangements classiques et un soupçon de Celtique.  Entre Enya par moment et des intonations de Sarah Brightman, un style de voix avec « filet », appelé aussi « Étherique », très sensuel, soutenu comme le faisait "Sade" à une certaine époque, mais il est indéniable que ce CD est pour les amateurs de voix.  Le fil conducteur de Anael est sans contredis ses accompagnements en bi et en tri tonique, exploit d'ailleurs réalisé par la chanteuse elle-même.  Ces lignes vocales sont spéciales et d'une justesse impressionnante.

Chanteuse de grande spiritualité, Anael vibre avec toute l’énergie de l’amour : “…d’aider à élever la conscience collective pour que l’humanité puisse accomplir sa destinée, entraînant dans son sillage la paix et la prospérité.” Elle croit que nous pouvons tous puiser dans cette énergie universelle, même en ces temps difficiles.

Native de Jonquière, au Québec, Anael s'intéresse à la musique dès son adolescence et participe à de nombreux concours.  Après quelques apparitions à la radio et à la télévision locale, elle finit par mettre la musique de côté pendant un certain temps, jusqu'à ce qu'elle rencontre un compositeur du nom de Bradfield en 1993.  Bradfied va finalement aider Anael à réaliser son premier album "Light of Refinement" en 1997 qui obtient de bonnes critiques et donne le coup d'envoi pour un 2e, l'année suivante, "Unconditional" paru en 1998.  Jusque-là, tous les titres sont en langues étrangères soit, Anglais, latin et même en Hébreux ( comme source ), mais en 2000 avec l'album "Language of the Soul", apparaît la première pièce d'Anael en français, « Hymne à la Paix »

Sur ce 4e album, "Spiritual Beings on a Human Journey", vient une autre pièce en français « Être sans âge ».  Enregistré au studio Clarity à Montréal et distribué par la maison de disque Apsis Music, ce disque est totalement produit, réalisé par Bradfield, qui a d'ailleurs écrit paroles et musiques.  Lorsque Anael ne fait pas de musique, elle pratique la médecine homéopathique.  Anael et son partenaire Bradfield, ont tous deux été invité à enregistrer une chanson d'une série dramatique télévisée coréenne “Sang Do.” À Séoul, ils ont également collaboré à la version anglaise intitulée “This Heart of Mine,” qui fut entendue par cinq millions de téléspectateurs chaque semaine pendant toute la saison.

Je vous invite à écouter la pièce #10 « Sky Sent (Disclosure) », qui est l'œuvre de ce CD, ainsi que la #8 « Être Sans Âge ».

Creations Magazine - Christina Lord
Like an angel singing to us on a celestial journey, Anael speaks in an intimate and most personal way on this new CD.

Allo Vedettes - Luc Denoncourt
"De beaux textes enrobés d’une voix magnifique."

Progrès Dimanche - Johanne de la Sabonniere
Anael a toutes les allures d'un ange. La facture très soignée de son dernier album, élaboré dans les tons de rose violacé passant au bleu ciel, évoque un style résolument gothique avec ses anges vaporeux devant des portails s’ouvrant sur l'infini. Elle apparaît à l'intérieur du DC, enveloppée d'un voile et enca-drée d'un vitrail virtuel.

Avec ce quatrième album, "Spiritual Beings on a Human Journey", la chanteuse originaire du Saguenay/Lac Saint-Jean poursuit sa course autour du monde. Ses convictions profon-des envers l'humanité continuent d'animer sa démarche de chanteuse interplanétaire.

De Jonquière à Séoul, la jeune femme blonde interprète des chansons sur la paix universelle, d'une voix de soprano très délicate. Souvent cataloguées dans le style nouvel âge, Anael affirme que les pièces écrites par son par-tenaire, le poète Bradfield, vont plus loin. "Ce n'est pas véritablement du nouvel âge. Ce qu'on fait n'est pas uniquement instrumental. Je dirais plutôt que notre musique est très spirituelle", énonce la chanteuse, qui ajoute que son partenaire sait parfaitement lui écrire des textes qui lui ressem-blent. "Je suis son principal instrument"

Au total, une dizaine de pièces toutes relaxantes, imprégnées de douceur et de messages de paix, la plupart en anglais à l'exception d'une, "Être sans âge." Dans cette quête pour la paix et l'amour; Anael, affirme que l’humanité a plus que jamais besoin de messages pouvant provoquer des changements. "Nous avons tous un rôle à jouer et je crois que la pensé collective peut nous débarrasser de nos peurs", résume la jeune artiste humaniste. "La peur nourrit la peur, poursuit-elle et elle amène le découragement mais l'entraide évoque des changements, des prises de conscience à travers le monde", croit celle-ci.

Dénonçant les valeurs artificielles qui animent le monde moderne, Anael se dit persuadée que le potentiel humain peut se réaliser en passant par la responsabilisation de chaque être. Selon elle, il existe une vague mondiale de gens qui puisent une énergie nouvelle dans la musique spirituelle. "Les vibra-tions musicales sont relaxantes et elles ont un effet apaisant. À l'époque où l'on vit, les gens en ont grand besoin", réitère-t-elle. "En Europe, en Russie, en Italie, au Brésil (où elle est allée chanter), un véritable réseau se concrétise. On n'entend jamais parler de ça aux nouvelles, mais il n'y a pas que de mauvaises choses sur la terre. "

Grande voyageuse, homéopathe, amante de l'inexpliqué et de l'invisible, la chanteuse qui a un jour quitté Jonquière pour Québec, puis Montréal a rencontré Bradfield et le couple a fondé sa propre compagnie, Apsis Music. La clientèle pour ce style de musique étant éparpillée à travers le monde, elle a enregistré en Corée la chanson thème de la série dramatique "Sang do", et est finaliste au 4e concours annuel des prix NAV (catégorie vocale) pour son troisième album, Language of the Soul. Elle a aussi interprété deux chansons pour un film coréen (Calla) en 1999.

Anaél se souvient que ce don pour apaiser et soigner les gens remontent à loin. Toute petite, alors qu'elle vivait à Jonquière (elle est la fille de Léo Trem-blay qui a incarné pendant des années Jean Narrache), elle avait profité de l'absence de ses parents partis en voyage pour adopter... neuf petits animaux. "J'étais la Dr Dolittle du coin", évoque t'elle en riant. Je me suis toujours intéressée à la vie, aux plantes, et à la santé des gens", termine la jeune femme qui vit maintenant à Montreal.

Journal de Québec – Serge Drouin
Peu connue au Québec, la chanteuse Anael, originaire du Saguenay, vend pourtant des disques partout sur la planète. En ce moment, elle propose le quatrième album de sa carrière. Spiritual Beings on a Human Journey. La chanteuse revient d'ailleurs de Séoul, en Corée, où elle a été invitée à enregistrer la chanson thème d’une populaire dramatique de ce coin de la planète, Sang-Do. Elle prépare également le lancement d'une compilation avec une grande compagnie américaine. "Faut croire que nul n'est prophète dans son pays", signale Anael pour expliquer que le public d'ici se fait tirer l'oreille pour écouter ce qu'elle fait. "Roch Voisine a d'abord été reconnu ailleurs avant de devenir une vedette ici. Ça arrive souvent", dit-elle, sans amertume.

Quoi qu'il en soit, Anael avoue que, par sa musique et ses chansons, son but est " d'élever le niveau de conscience des gens sur ce qui les entoure. On dit souvent que nous sommes des hu-mains à la recher-che de spiritualité alors qu'en fait, la réalité est à l'opposée", dit Anael. La chanteuse interprète ses pièces en différentes langues. "L’émotion passe dans n'importe quelle langue", ajoute t'elle. La chanteuse se défend de faire de la musique nouvel âge. "C'est un terme qui a été trop galvaudé. Dans mon cas, je parle plutôt de musique spirituelle, affirme t'elle. Nous avons mis un an de travail sur ce disque. C'est le plus élaboré sur le plan spirituel. Nous sommes allés plus loin sur 1e plan sonore. Le violoncelle a apporté plus de chaleur, la guitare plus de légèreté. Le tout donne un environnement acoustique."

Au cours des prochains jours, Anael poursuivra la promotion de son disque. Elle travaillera aussi sur l'enregistrement d'un vidéoclip. Des spectacles pourraient se mettre en branle à l'automne. "C'est par le circuit de petites boutiques que j'irai rencontrer les gens", termine celle dont les chansons ne tournerons pas nécessaire ment dans les grands réseaux radiophoniques.

 

Language of the Soul
 

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Omega - Robert Walmsley
“Like the beloved, Anael’s voice conveys a tender enchantment that soothes and warms the heart, while the sweet strains of flutes, harp, percussion and keyboards lift the spirit to a divine space where all souls sing as one voice to the higher harmonies of life. Although she sings in no less than five different languages, most listeners would never be aware of it because Anael’s heavenly voice sings to that place within us all where there is but one language: the Language of the Soul. Sensual, tender, delightful... this is one of those rare releases that sounds excellent on the first hearing and gets better with each subsequent listening, easily receiving my highest recommendation to all.”

The Minnesota Phoenix - Audrey DeLaMartre
"Across the field she comes, tall, slender, a strong woman, a woman of all times and places. She embraces the wind that carries the smell of rain and sun on flowers. Her song weaves a tapestry of the past, present, and future, haunting, strong, gentle, passionate, resolute. She sings of the Source, voice iridescent, liquid, caressing.

Each unique musical number on this new CD, the third by this pair, is freshly composed, arranged and played by Bradfield on a variety of string, keyboard, electronic. and wind instruments, and set to his poetry or to ancient texts. Chir Haschirim, for example, takes its text from the Old Testament's Song of Songs and is haunting, while Kindred Light is very contemporary; and Crastina Die takes its text from the Roman Catholic liturgy and is fresh and charmingly impudent at times.

The music from this Canadian pair has never been more grounded or more gossamer. It imparts the sense that music, Iyrics, and voice all emanate from the same Source and can't be separated from it any more than a flower's fragrance can exist without the flower. The fact that Iyrics are mixed and woven in several strands, in varying colors, and in five languages: French, English, Hebrew, Latin, and Italian- and then unified within the sixth language of music, affirms the fountainhead. Each piece is my favorite, until the next one begins. Such quality can be sustained because it rises from minds and hearts of faith, strength, and talent, but most of all, powerful love.

I have lived with this music since last September and found that somehow it renews itself between sessions of listening so that each session is fresh, a quality I have found only in some of the oldest classical music. It is a rare privilege to hear such quality today."

New Age Voice - Atlanta, GA
"Anael's third release on the Canadian label Apsis Music, Language of the Soul combines transcendentally gorgeous singing with lovely yet compelling melodies. Anael eloquently speaks the language of our hearts and souls with deep insight and soaring joy. Bradfield, Anael's talented musical partner, wrote most of the Iyrics and music and played all the instruments. Having followed their career the past few years, I'm delighted to report that these two angels have thoroughly outdone themselves with Language of the Soul. The music is lush, with orchestrations that are sweeping, anthemic and absolutely gorgeous. Anael's high, pure voice leads us ever on toward the heavens, where everyone speaks the language of the soul. Layering her vocals affords delicious harmonies, while sporadic sampled male voices add their own resonance. Instrumentation: vocals, acoustic guitar, percussion, keyboards, oboe, flute, samples."

Backroads - Lloyd Barde
"This is the third release by Canadian chanteuse Anael, presenting ten new songs sung in Hebrew, Italian, Latin, French and English. As usual, her heavenly voice is set in an ethereal, ultra-lush musical setting. Her voice has matured as her material has improved, with a broader reach and clearer delivery. The beautiful package hints at mythological underpinnings, and the songs are very much in keeping with those themes. The music, as before, is all performed by Bradfield, and he also wrote the lyrics. As Anael grows in stature, her music finds a deeper meaning and becomes more endearing. With all the vocalists we now offer, she has a definite place with her haunting, lullaby-like delivery, speaking the "Language of the Soul" eloquently and with a pop edge that carries through the beguiling sweetness and soaring melodies."

The New Times - Seattle, WA - David A. Young
"As far as I know, Anael is, as of this writing, the first recording artist to earn the distinction of having three albums in a row reviewed in these pages. That's no mean feat, given a) that we don't run negative reviews and b) that the volume of CDs submitted for review inclines me to spread the praise as widely as possible in the interest of fairness. All this points to the extent to which Anael has captured my loyalty and inspired in me a "fan" sensibility that reminds me of my younger years.
The title of her latest, Language of the Soul, perhaps offers a clue as to why this is so. It’s said that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, but the way to my soul is through music, and Anael, from the beginning, has touched me here with an ease and a depth that are rare.

The essence of the album is crystallized in "The Tower of Babel," which tells the familiar story while interspersing it with Hebrew prayers, adding a surprise twist at the end: was the Tower actually a spaceship? Anael has always specialized in a multilingual approach, proving time and again that it is the spirit and the context of the words — and the finished product in general — that allows her music to touch me at my very center. She reaches me in sublime and singular ways, whether I "understand" the words or not, because she is singing, as the lyrics of "In the Key of Wisdom" suggest, songs of life and light in the key of otherworldly truths.

Language of the Soul has all the warmth and immediacy of a lullaby, but it’s music for awakening — in every sense of the word — not music for going to sleep. With each album, Anael and partner Bradfield become more technically accomplished and commercially viable, but, unlike others of which this has been true, they use their growth as a way to go ever more deeply into the spirit that drives their work, topping themselves every time. This soundtrack to the evolution of a soul is that rare adult contemporary album that begs for more volume, not less.

It's also a compelling touchstone in the evolution of Anael’s artistry. If you enjoy Language of the Soul, our album of the month, you owe it to yourself to check out her Light of Refinement and Unconditional CDs, too. All of them offer remarkable opportunities to use the ears as a means of bypassing the intellect, thus offering a direct and satisfying route to the heart."

NAPRA ReView - Peggy Randall
"Pop music doesn't get much more New Age than this: ethereal layered female vocals- Anael's innocent voice is truly angelic- celestial choirs (male and female), chiming harp and piano, sugar-sweet sampled guitar and strings, tinkling wind chimes, and spiritually inspired Iyrics. "Who Made Thee Flesh," "Part of Our Essence," and "A Kindred Light" suggest the rather romantic slant of the compositions written by Bradfield, who also produced the album. With cover art suitable for the gift market, Anael's feminine touch is apparent in the photos of angel statues and in the liner notes. If you sold her previous two releases, Unconditional and Light of Refinement, you'll sell this one too- it's the best yet."

Wind and Wire - Bill Binkelman
It would be easy (although appropriate) to merely suggest that fans of Enya should rush out and buy this latest album from vocalist Anael (assisted by keyboardist/instrumentalist Bradfield). And that would, in fact, be true. It's impossible to imagine that fans of either of the multiple platinum neo-Celtic artist would not enjoy Language of the Soul. Anael's voice, while not multi-tracked to death like Enya's, is strong, vibrant and lovely beyond my ability to describe it. And, like Enya, she sings in a variety of languages (English, Latin, Hebrew). And the lyrics also share that curious blend of overt spirituality, mysticism, and new age metaphysics. But, Anael is no clone, rest assured of that.

Opening with the gentle ballad "Come Raggio di Soleil," the album's strengths are revealed right away: superb instrumental composition which mix keyboards and other instruments by Bradfield are married to an almost literally angelic vocal from Anael. On this particular song, the Latin lyrics meld perfectly with the flowing melody, rivaling the best that Enya has produced, in my opinion. "Lingering Stratus," the next song, is more of a "song" than most of Enya's material. It almost approaches pop sensibility at times and also features the "Enigma-esque" touch of Gregorian chanting, albeit used very sparingly. However, the rhythms are not sultry but more mainstream and accessible. What struck me by the second song on this CD was the extremely high production quality and the instrumental proficiency of Bradfield, who is credited with composing and performing all the music on Language of the Soul. No literal instrument credit is listed so I don't know how much is keyboards and how much is other instruments. But if it is mostly synthesized, it's high quality stuff.

If you're opposed to anything that has even a slight "new age" feel to it, you may not like this recording, although I believe the spirituality is completely sincere and heartfelt. However, even allowing for this comment, the music and singing on the CD is such great listening that, even if the lyrics are somewhat more spiritual than the norm (with song titles like "Who Made Thee Flesh" you'll see what I mean), I found myself captivated by Anael's truly angel-like voice while I was equally impressed by the professional and accomplished compositional skills of Bradfield.

Normally I don't enjoy vocal albums as much as I found myself doing with Language of the Soul. While I can't (and never do, as a rule) comment on lyrical content quality (who am I to judge lyrics, after all), I can state that the CD is highly listenable and very rewarding from an emotional standpoint. The music itself is not "light" but the experience of listening to it is quite positive and affirming. Part of this is, no doubt, owing to Anael's voice. The other part of this is Bradfield's catchy yet never sugary or overly pop songs. There is more than enough "going on" in these compositions to hold the attention of the more jaded music fan. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that Language of the Soul is a lot more interesting (and in my opinion, just flat out better) than the last two Enya releases. While not as lush or "ethereal," the blend of instruments with Anael's voice is much more balanced and "human."

So, I can recommend this CD on a variety of levels. It's a great vocal release for fans of the genre. Anael's voice is crystalline pure and beautiful to hear. In addition, the music is varied yet always with a leaning to accessible melody without descending into pure pop formula, either. The electronic keys on the album are first rate; this recording flat out sounds great. The only caveat I can issue is that the lyrics (those that are in English) are sometimes unabashedly spiritual in essence. Not "new agey" (no crystals or pyramids here), but rooted in traditional Western religions instead. So, if you're an atheist, consider yourself forewarned. However, even a solid agnostic like yours truly found himself enchanted with Anael's singing and the gentle strains of the music. Frankly, I was surprised at my own reaction. But after more than five listenings, I realized that I couldn't foist my bias on this review. Language of the Soul is a very solid vocal and instrumental recording. As I stated in the beginning, I think Enya fans will be missing the boat of they pass this one up.

Barnes & Noble - Carol Wright
The angelic voice of Anael conveys an ethereal ambiance in these modern spiritual songs that touch on centuries-old sentiments. The composer Bradfield created music and lyrics in praise of the Creator for this album, inspired by biblical themes and the Catholic liturgy. On "Lingering Stratus" -- an appeal to restore a scattered spirit -- Bradfield contrasts the delicate voice of Anael with the warmth of a male Gregorian choir, all entwined with snappy string and percussion syncopations. On "Who Made the Flesh," inspired by Solomon's Song of Songs, Anael's voice weaves around itself playfully. More ominously, "The Tower of Babel" features a hard-hitting drum track, wailing horns, and thunderous roars. "Hymne à la Paix," composed by Anael, begins simply with drum heartbeat, accordion, and voice, then sways lyrically with piano, flute, and the flap of dove wings. Don't worry if you feel uncomfortable with the idea of being "preached at"; four of the songs are in foreign languages (Hebrew, French, Latin, and Italian), and Anael's delicate delivery and harmonic overdubbing poises even the English lyrics on the fine edge of being understood. However, if you follow the lyric sheets, the words become obvious. The melodic Language of the Soul is mouthwateringly musical, and it offers a wellspring of soul-searching gems if you care to listen more deeply.

Times 10.org - Editorial
Two people, Anael and Bradfield, got together about six years ago and have one common thread that runs throughout their music. It comprises of Compassion, Respect, Forgiveness and Being Kind to others. Anael and Bradfield have combined their talents to put some of the most interesting music heard in years. Now on their fourth CD, they work out of Montreal and have offered selections from their latest release on MP3.COM. We have them now listed on two of our five Internet Radio Stations from Times .10 Magazine.

Anael is the female lead singer who puts her heart into every word. She works well with Bradfield who works with her in composition of words and music. In an interview with them, Bradfield stated, "We aspire to dissolve linguistic, religious and cultural barriers that have enchained us as long as we can remember." To give you an example of what he is talking about, listen to the words of Listen to Your Heart." It holds the truth and is the spark, lighting a union with the stars" ten thousand candles in the dark." Anael is truly a believer in music as a means of communication and she says "My goal in life is to materialize Peace on Earth and our albums are my little drop of water in the Ocean of Life." You can hear that in her voice on every song although the one that got me to listen over and over again was Ask Me Like a Song. The lyrics, music and voice harmonize into one message, "Sweet and gently rhyming, with heart and words aligning as one, if you'd only ask me as a song, truth would seem closer"

There is a hint of Enya in their music, although once you have listened, you will notice that they go much further in composition and voice. As Bradfield stated in the interview, "the most interesting things happening in our world at the moment are of a transcendental nature, the unexplained, our spiritual quests..."

In a recent article, the writer wrote the following, "Through her music and lyrics, Anael aspires to raise global consciousness and promote the concept of caring more for others than for ourselves. She believes that when we can all apply this, no one will lack for anything. Even in times of hardship, Anael has truly lived and breathed this philosophy. She cannot bear, or even tolerate, injustice and will fight vigorously to resolve it. Truly a breath of fresh air in these tumultuous times." Bradfield has a way with words and states quite simply with a special uniqueness, "Apparently when Princess Diana left us, there was such a simultaneous outpouring of love that we shifted an energy pattern that had been in place since the dawn of humanity. We are now upon a new path. We have learned from past errors. We are knocking at the gate..."

Find out for yourself just how lush and wonderful the music is to the tuned ear. You will find truth in the lyrics and the voice. "I've found it in the stars and the sun in a forest that is magically one"

Serge Kozlovsky - Belarus Journalist
Anael comes again! Renewed and refreshed, she returns with her new album Language Of The Soul, an even deeper artistic statement yet still charmingly-feminine. This new gift is a mirror of her being, almost a very piece of her heart. Her sincerity and open feelings touch you from the very beginning of the composition Come Raggio di Soleil and don't leave until the last chords of Crastina Die, plunging the listener into an unbounded ocean of feelings, where tenderness, sweet sadness, deep trust and joy of unconditioned love all melt sweetly together.

What can be said about this album? Her third solo album is her masterpiece. Definitely a step forward, it reveals a new side of of the diamond that is Anael's music. It is also a beautiful exploration of aesthetics, each aspect a perfect example: Anael's performance, the refined arrangements by Bradfield, the beautiful cover. Linguistically, Anael presents the songs using 5 languages: Hebrew, Italian, Latin, French and English.

We should also consider the texts of the songs. They are an organic part of the art of Anael and Bradfield. The original lyrical poetry of Bradfield is interwoven with various other sources; in Crastina Die, the words are taken from the Catholic Liturgy, in Chir Haschirim; the Hebrew poetry originates from the Song of Songs by Solomon and in The Tower Of Babel, there is a clever mix, with the story of the creation and destruction of the Tower of Babylon mixed with Hebrew prayers and chants. Each of the original texts by Bradfield would seem to be in harmony with a common theme, they are all deeply spiritual. In Lingering Stratus, Anael calls us to return to the Kingdom of God, in A Kindred Light, she inspires our hearts. The strongest, overflowing with energy but at the same time deeply touching is certainly the initial composition Come Raggio di Soleil (words by Antonio Caldara, adapted and reworked by Bradfield).

As a whole, all of Anael's vocals and music constitute an organic unity, where no part can be separated. Language of the Soul honors this same approach. Anael's singing has something in common with Enya, but Anael doesn't repeat Enya, she penetrates deeper into both our feelings and the mystical world of exalted dreams. And she does it in her own way, remaining earthly, real and tangible. It is this combination of Anael's belonging here with her heavenly spirit that create a special mood, a very individual music, an inexpressible melody of soul.

One simply has to listen this music, to plunge into it, to be one with it. A subsequent return into our ordinary but yet quite different world finds us able to appreciate other beauty, each of which Anael has helped us to feel more profoundly.

 
Unconditional
 

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New Age Voice, Atlanta, GA - Carl McColman
It's tempting on several levels to compare Anael to Enya, from the similarity of their names, to the ethereal artwork of packaging design, to similar atmospheric grandeur in the music and vocals, but in the end, I that would be a disservice, for Anael is far more than a mere knock-off. This Canadian songstress brings more warmth and intimacy to her music than does her Irish counterpart. Songs like "Sanctus" and"Aeterna" (both adapted from the Catholic liturgy) provide an explicitly spiritual framwork to the album while most of the other songs touch on a variety of themes related to faith, love, vulnerability and dreams. The music ranges from sweeping tapestries of lush sound to the more pop-influenced rhythms of songs like "Listen to Your Heart." Taken as a whole, this cyle of songs is a testament to love - unconditional love, of course.

Celestial Voices - England - Graham Lubin
In the world of crystalline, ethereal, female vocals there is a new emerging Princess - French Canadian vocal artist Anael. How does one begin to describe the beauty of this thought-provoking musical priestesses' second album, the truth is, that it is almost impossible. I can attempt to sum up my reactions to it quite simply. Listen to "Don't Trade In Your Dreams" If the beauty of the melody and its spiritual content does not make you weep or send chills up and down your spine, then perhaps this kind of elevating, enveloping, music experience is not for you. Anael's voice is an instrument; which she uses to capture and uplift people's souls.

From the opening track Sanctus, adapted from the Roman catholic liturgy, you are invited to personally audition Anael's world of beauty, peace, transformation and redemption. It feels very direct and very intimate almost as if she is singng for you and you alone, inviting you to join her for an hour in sharing her wisdom and tranquility. When that hour is over, your heart will continue to take with it Anael's message and vision.

The compositions of Bradfield manage to provide a medium in which the vocals of Anael can work their magic; growing, teaching, and transcending musical plains. Although this CD will sit well in the collections of lovers of Marcome and perhaps Enya, it is a singularly beautiful and mesmerizing album that occupies a genre all of its own. Unconditional is a sumptuously textured work that deserves to be appreciated by more than just established fans.

Serge Kozlovsky - Minsk, Belarus
Do you long to take a journey far away, to see distant, unknown lands and that world occupied by an unseen beauty? Well, make yourself comfortable and switch on Unconditional. This music will lead you on that journey, and you need not need go anywhere, because this imagined world is here, nearby. It is inside us and around us. You have never lost it. And you can feel it again. This world is not indicated on any map, because this is a world of the Spirit, and Anael's voice will guide you there. This new reality, opened by her, is the true reality. Anael's singing is very beautiful, leaving the impression that you are simply floating along, following the warm waves of her music. The album begins with a grand version of Sanctus and is followed by the moving Ask Me Like a Song. As the songs unravel, we are taken further and further along a color carpet of the most beautiful flowers. The feeling is that of a bright summer day, somewhere on a spacious, airy mountain meadow and you want to drink this fresh air with all of your being, stay there for some time, and then return to your life refined and refreshed.

Unconditional could well be called the continuation of Anael's debut album Light Of Refinement, but these two albums are similar mainly by the sincerity and opened heartedness of their rendering. The arrangements by Bradfield are elegant and made with great love and delicacy. In general, great love is felt in everything on this album, from the performances to very aesthetic design. I also need to say that Unconditional does not repeat Light Of Refinement, it simply continues the journey. Anael and Bradfield grow and evolve in their creative work, and their compositions become more developed, the sound more rich and textured. But at the same time, the clear spirit and delicate touch so prevalent on Light Of Refinement is preserved here.

Anael's voice hovers weightlessly around us, sparkling with rainbow colors that evoke a beautiful, fresh spring day. And, as if being carried on the wings of a giant butterfly, we soar and float with her through the air over the awakening land.

The News Times - Seattle, WA - David A. Young
"On this, her second album, Anael makes a quantum leap forward both in artistic integrity and commercial viability. There is absolutely no reason that she should not be among the best selling recording artists around, and it's just as easy to imagine hearing her music on top forty radio as on the massage table.

What's not to love? The lyrics are mature and thought provoking, the melodies haunting, and the lushly layered arrangements remain comfortable while all the while staying delightfully outside the realm of the predictable. Composer/producer/instrumentalist Bradfield has come into his own on this album, leaving his stamp on the finished product in a now-recognizable style that reminds me at times of the most sublime work of Van Dyke Parks or Angelo Badelementi.

The fragile beauty of Anael's vocals wafts over the orchestration, inviting the listener to become part of the world of wisdom and power mapped out in the musical landscape. She exhibits the combination of strength and vulnerability that has been the hallmark of all my favorite singers, embracing subtelty of expression and eschewing histrionics. The sensitivity of her phrasing perfectly mirrors the heartfelt (and heart-expanding) libretto.

The fact is that it's difficult to pick a favorite, especially because the disc plays best as a song cycle, no single piece of it as meaningful or rewarding as the whole. If ever I wished that I could offer a money-back guarantee with a review, it's with Unconditional. It's more than the album of the month; it's everything I like about music. Catch a rising star. Pick up a copy and see for yourself how good it can get."

New Age Retailer - Bellingham, WA - Steve Ryals
"Gifted with a stunning voice of startling clarity, Anael sings like an angel about love, loss, and redemption. These timeless messages of hope and inspiration grow in the heart like precious flowers spilling their fragrant essence of love and light. While all the lead and backing vocals are by Anael, the words and music were written by Bradfield, who also plays all the instruments. Bradfield writes truly beautiful songs with a unique combination of neo-classical and contemporary pop flavorings. Anael sings these songs with an innocent passion, earthy and ethereal at the same time.

Unconditional is vocal-based New Age music at its most inspirational. Bradfield's lyrics speak to the very heart of the living spirit deep inside each of us. Bradfield is also an outstanding piano and keyboard artist. He creates lushly orchestrated tapestries with exotic percussion and fretless bass rounding out the mix. Synthesized strings, flute and more all serve to enhance the melodies and Anael's angelic vocals. The production values and arrangements are superb, particularly for a small, independent label.

Favorites include the achingly pure "Come Again, I Believe," with a delicate piano lead supporting Anael's heavenly singing about inner guides bringing us hope and healing. Another favorite is the extraordinary title track, an anthem extolling the greatest love there is. For fans of inspiring New Age vocal music at its best, Unconditional is sure to please."

NAPRA ReVIEW - Eastsound, WA - Bette Timm
"From start to finish, from production to packaging, this project is nop notch. Anael's angelic voice is excellent, and Bradfield's lyrics and instrumentation are transformative. Every cut has the power to unconditionally connect you to the source. Just one for instance, "Aeterna" is a joyful, carefree song, full of magic and intriguing instrumentation that had me holding my breath, smiling, as I waited for the next musical phrase. This rich recording comes with an attractively designed 16-page insert that includes all the lyrics. Uncondtional's absolutely beautiful and original sound is irresistible."

The Phoenix - Minnesota, MN - Audrey DeLaMartre
"Love, reason, peace and faith all have a sound that strokes the soul, and it is the musical blending of French Canadian vocal artist Anael and musical genius-composer-artist Bradfield on this, their second CD. Their first CD, Light of Refinement, has the same complex, misty sound. Anael and Bradfield's music is founded on a dual base of traditional faith, the treasure of the present, and our human potential to yearn for, work for and find our fullest potential in the broadest sense. The result is a gratifying groundedness, and, an invitation to spread our wings and fly into the mystery.

"Omega Directory - Tuscon, AZ - Robert Walmsley
"Touching the heart with the voice of an angel, Anael brings the listener divinely inspired (and inspiring) message of love's power to transform the world we perceive. Intricate instrumentation, sweeping orchestrations. intimate parterings of voice and instrument, every moment is a special gift of glorious sound that brushes aside the clouds of illusion and brings a brilliant light into our darkest spaces, encouraging each of us to release our fears in exchange for the Unconditional gifts of heaven. Delightfully melodic and lyrical, this fine release is highly recommended to all."

RPM Weekly - Toronto, ON - Walt Grealis
"A beautifully segmented follow-up to her 1997 release which gained her an international audience. This Unconditional show opens with Sanctus, cleverly adapted from the Roman Catholic liturgy, and that sets the scene for more of Bradfield's genius writing. Anael's crisp, pristine and angelic vocals graciously weave that magic so necessary in creating an aural vision of the author's words. The spiritual content goes without saying, almost in the realm of soul cleansing. All descriptives aside, Anael and Bradfield make beautiful music together."

Vie & Lumière - Québec, PQ - Marie-Josée Turcotte
"Anael nous revient avec la douceur et la clarté de sa voix afin de nous présenter son second album. Si vous avez aimé son premier disque, Light of Refinement, vous adorerez Unconditional. La musique glisse sur différents variétés de rythmes et d'émotions, le tout merveilleusement orchestré avec piano, percussions et instruments à cordes."

 
Light of Refinement
 

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The New Times - Seattle, WA - David A. Young
"Unlike most of the other breathy sopranos making comparable music, Anael is able, both in her lyrics and her delivery, to wrap some very powerful emotional impact in some very subtle musical packaging. There is everything grand and lush here, and nothing pretentious: Upon A Restless Night is a special treat for its understated orchestration. Light of Refinement is clearly the music of someone doing her soul work, and listening to it makes doing ours easier and a little more beautiful. To me, this music sounds like a spider's web, with just a bit of dew on it, looks: both fragile and strong; deceptively simple and yet underpinned with the complexity and mystery of life itself."

Omega Directory - Phoenix, AZ - Robert Walmsley
"Gorgeous, Enya-like vocals that soar within a delicate framework of richly orchestrated new age melodies is offered in this stunning debut release by Canadian singer/songwriter Anael. Her angelic voice carries the spiritual messages in her lyrics deep into the heart on the wings of glorious sound, leaving the listener profoundly touched and more than a little awed by the powerful content of each beautiful composition. Shining like a star, this Light of Refinement blazes down upon a world in transition and illuminates the path to healing and peace. As my choice for the best new age vocal album of 1997, this remarkable debut release by Anael easily receives my highest recommendation to all."

Point of Light - Murrysville, PA - Sven Hosford
"Stunning. This is one piece of work you can judge from the cover; a lush, beautiful album rich in orchestration, vocals and lyrics...the ethereal, enchanting feel of angelic mood music. Haunting melodies and masterful arrangement of a wide variety of musical instruments make this one for repeated playing. The liner notes left no doubt that this duo is filled with a special spiritual light. In case you couldn't tell, I'm totally smitten with this CD."

NAPRA ReVIEW - Sandra Marshall
"Anael's gentle, lyrical voice is instantly calming and provides a pleasant, unhurried atmostphere. This is all day music that asks nothing of you as it exudes its relaxing essence. The presentation is so fluid that to grasp the spiritual and inspiring lyircs one must read the package insert. Restorative by its sheer nature, this willowy music enhances your day without ever intruding."

Branches - Indianapolis, IN - Chris Carlson
"Aside from the ethereal and otherworldly beauty of this album, perhaps the most remarkable feature is the perfect blending of voice and instrument. In the opening track, instrumental and vocal take turns, then blend with satiny smoothness. In One Brief Dream, the instrumental harmony supports Anael's most delicate and perfect enunciation. Birthing Clouds presents a totally enveloping galactic harmony. This disc is an inspirational work about the quest for heightened spiritual awareness and self discovery, about peace and harmony. Even if you don't catch the words, the music itself tells you that."

The Phoenix - Minneapolis, MN - Audrey DeLaMartre
"Anael's exquisite, misty voice weaves with the music, creating poetic aural pictures of our life's sacred journey that flows from and back to love... Intricate vocal harmonies, all sung by Anael, begin with the Kyrie Eleison. When angels sing, surely this is how they sound. Still misty, but more muscular, Dona Nobis Pacem, performed a myriad of ways over the centuries, has never been more buoyant or musically complex. The healing and inspiring powers of this CD have been my companion for two weeks. It has lifted me to a clear and shining place and given me new spiritual strength."

New Age Retailer - Steve "Edge" Ryals
"Stunning vocalizations... ethereal pop sensibilities and sweet melodic hooks. Anael layers her voice to great effect, creating breathtaking harmonies that hold their own with Enya or Serah, though she has her own unique sound. Bradfield's lyrics are, without exception, upbeat and heart-opening, inviting us again and again to open to more love and healing light. The music lifts and supports Anael's strong, sweet voice as it builds into a tribute to the highest in each of us. Strings, keyboards and light percussion only add to the beauty. Anael's sweetly angelic voice is a welcome addition to my collection of New Age power pop. For those who enjoy inspiring, heartwarming lyrics and contemporary, lovely melodies, Light of Refinement is hard to beat."

RPM Weekly - Toronto, ON - Walt Grealis
"Very soul-satisfying stuff. Anael's vocal power borders on sorcering, almost an audio/visual of something far greater than first imagined.Her angelic-like vocals and her ability to flow with a gentle ebb gives that necessary substance."

NAPRA ReView - Music Scene, Bette Timm
"An ethereal, angelic production of spirit-expanding music. The female vocals are hauntingly beautiful and the orchestration is rich and lush."

Creations - Sea Cliff, NY - Christina Lord
"One could possibly compare Anael to Enya - her pure, angelic, willowy voice will capture your heart right from the first song. The melodies and sparse instrumentation really enhance Anael's vocals."

The Shifting Times - Massilon, OH - Bo Wise
"Imagine lying in a meadow on a breezy suumer day, gazing up at white wispy clouds as they sail lazily across a very blue sky. The sun is warm, and the breeze which moves the clouds shares its journey with you in a cool caress as it passes by. If you could see and feel Anael's music, it would be like this."

Paroles et Musique - Montréal, PQ - Jacques Garcia
"Une riche mixture de musiques aux accents modernes et classiques à la fois, et de paroles inspirées auxquelles ils ont greffé des hymnes de la liturgie latine. Light of Refinement atteint son objectif en nous enveloppant d'une aura de détente formée de thèmes musicaux accrocheurs."

Progression - Lowell, MA - John Collinge
"Anael's voice defines ethereal; her light, breathy style conjuring angelic visions while taking dead aim at prying open the heart chakra. With the celestial strains of Kyrie and the windblown enchantment of Upon A Restless Night, Anael lets it be known that her life's mission is the inner quest to connection with higher powers. These tracks have a decidely "yin" like nature; they're very feminine in their ethos of love/forgiveness/surrender. In the final analysis, Light of Refinement might be the definitive New Age statement by a female vocalist."

Vie & Lumière - Québec, PQ - Marie-Josée Turcotte
"Anael est un artiste à la voix unique, douce et claire, presque angélique. Depuis 1993, elle collabore avec le poète, compositeur et réalisateur Bradfield. Le résultat de leurs talents combinés est impressionant. Ce premier album est une invitation à découvir un artiste de chez nous qui chante l'amour inconditionel avec toutes les fibres de son etre. Une véritable bouffée d'air frais dans ces temps tumultueux!"

New Age Voice (NAV) - Dan Liss
"Anael opens panoramic windows onto uplifting lyrics. Over seamless, flowing orchestrations she invites the listener to meditate, pray and examine their circumstances and choices. Her voice sails swiftly, smoothly so that you can absorb her themes after she's enchanted you with her delicate manoeuvres and you're already following her through the airwaves."

New Texas Magazine - Austin, TX - Lynne Thompson
"She certainly has a voice like an angel might have. Light of Refinement gives Anael's clearly impressive vocal style stage to lyrics written and instruments played by Bradfield. Impressive renderings of piano, percussion, drums, wind instruments, cello and more exist. You have the privilege of using your imagination in your interpretation. It is all exquisite. Anael's cloud-like vocals brush against your ears in prayer-like tones in In Silence and Kyrie. Born of Forgiveness has an unusually exotic and appealing rhythmic beat that contrasts the subject of salvation. Definitely worth exploring."