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Gileah - The Golden Planes

The Golden Planes


Grey Hat GHR003

Grey Hat Records

This CD is available from CD Baby.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Frank Gutch Jr.

I can sum up Gileah in one word: refreshing, and not refreshing in the mundane sense, but refreshing like the cold, crisp air on a mountain top or the smell of salt water and the feel of the spray on a perfect day at the beach. Every time I hear this, I can't help but feel cleansed. No angst, no suicidal bent in Gileah, my friends. This lady loves and, better yet, loves life. Not joyously or wantonly, but quietly and personally.

While gaining critical accolades for her voice, there is a purity to Gileah's phrasing which permeates the very fiber of the soul. Soft, quiet, sometimes wistful, always befitting, it draws you to her and sometimes refuses to let you go. From the opening lines of The Golden Planes to the dying phrases of For Things Beyond, it magnifies each song through a sort of rejuvenating simplicity.

For instance, the breathy almost little girl quality in Comfortable is breathtaking as she sings of admiration and love, telling someone that "your head will never be too heavy for my shoulder." Wrap Your Arms Around Me is a plaintive cry, a wanting to understand love, her voice almost cracking from emotion. Speaking of love, Medicine lives on the simple repeating of the end of a phrase--- "No doctor in the world could heal me now, could heal me now" and the repetition is the key. "Just" rides just two light chords at the end, but Gileah overlays a vocal flotation device which could carry anyone to dreamland. It could have been a longer ending--- much much longer.

Ten tracks here, all fine originals, but the capper is the best. For Things Beyond captures the very essence of this CD. Sparse and minimal, the background is soft carpet for Gileah's voice and the understated harmonies beneath.

For things beyond I know they are
I do not need to see
For things inside the treasures hid
The secrets that I keep
For things behind the bridges burned
And those I'd wish I'd saved
For things above a thousand tongues
The Angels and the Saints

Then, the chorus:

Chaos of love
The fury of life

which becomes counterpoint to Gileah's

Sameness of death
Beauty of truth
Glory of God
Glory of God

Simply beautiful.

Gileah has been compared to Fiona Apple and Tori Amos, for some reason. I wouldn't know, because to my knowledge I've not heard either. The comparisons are intriguing, though, and I find myself wondering if Apple and Amos are worth hearing. I do know that Gileah sure is.

Lest I forget, if producer and engineer Chris Taylor was responsible for the almost minimalist approach here, he deserves a Grammy. Or a beer. I'll buy.

Look. Don't take my word for it. This is available through CD Baby and the last I looked, they provide samples. Check Gileah out. She could well be your find of the year.

Track List:

  • The Golden Planes
  • Comfortable
  • Be the One
  • Wrap Your Arms Around Me
  • Medicine
  • White Florida Sun
  • Say You Love Me Still
  • Just
  • C'mon C'mon
  • For Things Beyond
All songs written by Gileah, © 2005.

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2006, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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